Selam or merhaba?
While in real life, I often hear people use "Selam" instead of Merhaba. So, where's the difference?
Religious? Lol.. These are completely traditional and widespread type of greetings in Turkey..
I partly do not agree with the comments. Yes, "selam" is a word which originated from Arabic and Islam. But in the daily usage, "selam" means just "hi". It has a little or none religious concept. Religious people do not often say just "selam", instead, they say "selamın aleyküm". I am not a religious man but I often say "selam".
So, you can use both words for greeting (selam or merhaba).
That's taken from Arabic lol. I mean in Arabic "salam" is used by muslims so I'm guessing "Selam" is religious in Turkish too. In Arabic it's "Marhaban", and it's used by everyone. I think it probably is the same with Turkish really... :)
Edit: Nvm Fr0sted beat me to it. ;p
Selam means peace.. Selamün aleyküm means peace on you.. Aleyküm selam means peace on you too.. Merhaba means be relax.... etc
Some say selam is religious but no. ''Selamün aleyküm'' is religious but both selam and merhaba are often used in daily life.
Selam is informal and more friendly. You will also notice that the 'h' in the middle of Merhaba is not pronounced sometimes, which makes it sound less informal than Merhaba itself but still more formal than Selam.
Selam - usually preferred by young people. Merhaba - more general. And Selamun Aleyküm is religious
"Selam" is generally used in circle of friends "Selamın Aleyküm" is generally used in daily conversations by Muslims. It's used by almost all of the muslims not only by religionist people.
But "Merhaba" is more formal. Generally used in formal conversations, business meetings etc. Also you can use it against people who you don't know or you know less.
Except, for example: I say "merhaba" to women and I say "Selamın Aleyküm" to men.
Well, yes "Selam" may have a religious background (salamum alaikum) but it's now just a more informal way to say "Hi."
In a day if you are just talking with your friends you can say "Selam, n'aber?" which means "Hey, what's up?" but in places that you must be serious and formal you should say "Merhaba"
Also, you can use "Merhaba" as "Merhabalar" it's an other informal way to say "Hi"
"Merhaba" is more formal than "selam" You can use "merhaba" to everyone but "selam" is more informal. (as far as I know both them comes from Arabic)