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As a noun, "salut" can refer to a military salute. As a greeting, it means either "hi" or "bye", rather like the Italian ciao or the Hawaiian aloha. As an interjection, the Larousse dictionary confirms the following:
salut [saly] (familier)
- [en arrivant] hi ou hello (there)
- [en partant] bye, see you, so long (US)
Context is often lacking in Duolingo's short sentences. But in the real world, context will help you know what is meant. If you run into a friend of yours, you say "Salut !" It means "hi". You chat a while and when you leave you say "Salut !" It means "bye". In neither of these contexts would the idea of a "salute" ever come to mind. Nor would you think it meant "bye" when you meet them or "hi" when you're leaving. So you see, it really makes perfect sense. Any confusion will fade after you come to an understanding. Good luck in learning French!
So in some ways, "salut" is an informal word that acknowledges someone's arrival or departure? I'm thinking that it may be similar to the American "hey". The meaning changes depending on how you say the word; if it's spoken in an upbeat tone and in a generally louder voice it = hi, but when spoken in a lower, more somber tone, with a quieter voice it can = goodbye (although not always).
"Goodbye" is not 100% a good translation, as "hello" is neither.
Because "salut" can be used both, to greet someone when you meet the person, and to take leave of the person.
On meeting someone: Salut! Comment vas-tu? (Hi! How are you?)
On taking leave of a person: Ok, thanks fot the conversation, goodbye! = D'accord, merci pour la conversation, salut!
Ever hear of "aloha"? It works the same way! Salut is an expression used as an informal greeting and also when parting. It can mean: hi/greetings/hey/hello -and- bye/goodbye/so long/cheers. You will notice that none of these other words does double duty the way "salut" does. It is informal, i.e., it is not at the same level as "Good afternoon", "Good morning". The more general (polite) way to greet someone is with "Bonjour". When you take your leave, you might say "à bientôt" (see you soon), "à plus tard" (see you later), "au revoir" (goodbye), or simply "bonne journée" (have a nice day).
Both "hi" and "bye" are the primary answers accepted for "salut". The system has been acting a little squirrely today. "Hi" is correct. http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais-anglais/salut/69993
for English learners doing the reverse tree: 'hey' and 'howdy' are not used in England nor by Europeans speaking English. They would mark the speaker as USA-English (edited- see below- thanks katesimone) also it appears to be used in Australia.
Saying salut is informal and good morning isn't a correct translation. Salut is a very friendly word. If you have an interview for a job, youd better say " bonjour/good morning, instead of salut. You can't say that to a person as a boss or a priest or an older person, it would be impolite.
Yea, I tried it a few times: it said the correct answer is "Bye!, Hi!". That is EXCACTLY what I wrote!
That doesn't work but for some reason it works, to write:"goodbye" even though that would be formal so acctually:"Au revoir". "Salut" is informal though so it should acctually mean "Hi/Bye".
"Salut" may mean either "hi/hello" or "bye/goodbye/so long/cheers/cheerio". Note that "cheers" in this sense is not a toast, but something said when parting company. A toast could be "à votre santé" (or simply "santé"). To say "bless you" when someone sneezes, you would say "à tes souhaits, à vos souhaits".
As in English, there are many possible things that a person might say when seeing your friend. Hi, hello, hey, hey there, etc. In French, "bonjour" is the more typical polite way to say "hello" when meeting someone. For a friend, you might simply say "Hi". "Salut" also works when taking leave of someone ("bye") and is the informal version of "au revoir".
How come on this app Salut means good bye ? But in a french book i have it actually means hi. Anyone got the answer for this?
I understand that 'salut' is an informal greeting that can mean 'hi' or 'bye' but just now [one of the 'choose the right answer from the boxes' questions] it didn't have either of these as a translation for 'salut', it had 'good morning' or 'good night', but when I picked 'good night' [figuring as it can be 'hi' or 'bye' it could be either of those] it marked it as wrong and said it should've been 'good morning'? It seems 'good morning' wasn't technically right either after having read all the comments?
France has regional speech patterns just like every other large country. They have less than most because they go to some trouble to eliminate them but such patterns still exist.
One of the most distinctive is Parisian. Naturally the social, cultural and academic elites of France think that Parisian French is the one true way to speak.