Dust off your witch hat and your robes (okay, or just grab a pen and paper), because today we’re giving you all of the essential Halloween vocabulary). If you’re American, you probably have great memories of this autumnal holiday—like carving pumpkins and gorging on the pounds of candy you got from trick-or-treating. You may be too old for trick-or-treating now, but even adults can enjoy Halloween festivities. And with the Halloween words on our list, you can celebrate it no matter where you are in the world this October. Settle in with a big bowl of candy and start learning key Halloween vocabulary in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, and Mandarin Chinese.

Assortment of lit jack-o-lanterns on a dark background. Text reads: Spooky Halloween vocabulary in 6 languages. MosaLingua.

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Why and How to Learn Vocabulary About Halloween

Fall is here, and there are some fun traditions that come with the season. You light up your windows and porches with jack-o-lanterns, break out your favorite horror movies, sip on endless pumpkin spice lattes, and of course, get ready to celebrate Halloween. And you know that people talk about Halloween for the entire month of October leading up to it. If you happen to be abroad this year or plan to celebrate with non–English speaking friends, you’ll want to know how to do so in a few different languages.

With these Halloween words in Spanish and 5 other languages, you’ll be able to talk to people you meet at a Halloween party in nearly any country. Compliment their costume, get recommendations for the best haunted houses in town, or simply wish them a happy Halloween. And you’ll understand your friends when they try to warn you of potential dangers… “Look out! A ghost!” If you’d rather stay inside and watch a scary movie, make it a foreign film! Here are a few of our favorite Chinese horror flicks, and a scary Spanish movie on Netflix that’ll give you goosebumps. You’re sure to hear at least a few of these words in any Halloween-themed or other scary movie you watch.

Since this isn’t vocabulary you’re likely to use every day, it’s easy to forget it after the candy is gone and the spiderwebs have been cleared away. To be sure you’re ready for next Halloween, memorize it using an app with a Spaced Repetition System, like MosaLingua, and practice it with a language partner.

Here are the most important Halloween words in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, and Mandarin Chinese. Happy learning and happy Halloweeeeeeen!

How to say “Halloween”

  • 🇫🇷 French: Halloween
  • 🇩🇪 German: Halloween
  • 🇧🇷 Portuguese: Halloween
  • 🇮🇹 Italian: Halloween
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: Noche de Brujas, Halloween
  • 🇨🇳 Chinese: 万圣节前夕 wàn shèng jié qián xī

“Halloween” meaning: Isn’t it interesting that the word Halloween is the same in nearly all of these languages? The Halloween word origin is Scottish, from “Allhallow-even,” meaning “Eve of All Saints.” Some people get Halloween confused with the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos in Spanish), a Mexican celebration to honor deceased relatives, which takes place just a few days later on November 1 and 2.

How to say “All Saints’ Day”

  • 🇫🇷 French: la Toussaint
  • 🇩🇪 German: Allerheiligen
  • 🇧🇷 Portuguese: Dia de Todos os Santos
  • 🇮🇹 Italian: Giornata di Ognissanti
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: Día de Todos los Santos
  • 🇨🇳 Chinese: 万圣节 wàn shèng jié

🍁 How to say “fall” or “autumn”

  • 🇫🇷 French: l’automne
  • 🇩🇪 German: der Herbst
  • 🇧🇷 Portuguese: o outono
  • 🇮🇹 Italian: l’autunno
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: el otoño
  • 🇨🇳 Chinese: 秋天 qiū tiān

🧙‍♀️ How to say “a witch”

  • 🇫🇷 French: une sorcière
  • 🇩🇪 German: eine Hexe
  • 🇧🇷 Portuguese: uma bruxa
  • 🇮🇹 Italian: una strega
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: una bruja
  • 🇨🇳 Chinese: 一位女巫 yī wèi nǚ wū

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🍯 How to say “a cauldron”

  • 🇫🇷 French: un chaudron
  • 🇩🇪 German: ein Kessel
  • 🇧🇷 Portuguese: um caldeirão
  • 🇮🇹 Italian: un calderone
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: un caldero
  • 🇨🇳 Chinese: 一口坩埚 yī kǒu gān guō

🎃 How to say “a pumpkin”

  • 🇫🇷 French: une citrouille
  • 🇩🇪 German: ein Kürbis
  • 🇧🇷 Portuguese: uma abóbora
  • 🇮🇹 Italian: una zucca
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: una calabaza
  • 🇨🇳 Chinese: 一个南瓜 yī gè nán guā

👻 How to say “a ghost”

  • 🇫🇷 French: un fantôme
  • 🇩🇪 German: ein Gespenst
  • 🇧🇷 Portuguese: um fantasma
  • 🇮🇹 Italian: un fantasma
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: un fantasma
  • 🇨🇳 Chinese: 一个鬼 yī gè guǐ

🍬 How to say “Trick or treat”

  • 🇫🇷 French: “Un bonbon ou un sort ?”
  • 🇩🇪 German: “Süßes oder Saures”
  • 🇧🇷 Portuguese: “Gostosuras ou travessuras”
  • 🇮🇹 Italian: “Dolcetto o scherzetto”
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: Truco o trato
  • 🇨🇳 Chinese: “不给糖就捣蛋” bù gěi táng jiù dǎo dàn

Trick-or-treating, when kids dress up in costumes and go around their neighborhood collecting candy, is an extremely popular tradition in the United States. Just how popular? The National Retail Federation projects that Americans will spend $3 billion on candy and $3.3 billion on costumes this Halloween! In all, Halloween spending breaks down to just over $100 per person. The event is catching on in other parts of the world, too, but no one takes it nearly as seriously as Americans.

🙀 How to say “spooky” or “scary”

  • 🇫🇷 French: effrayant
  • 🇩🇪 German: beängstigend
  • 🇧🇷 Portuguese: assustador
  • 🇮🇹 Italian: spaventoso
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: aterrador
  • 🇨🇳 Chinese: 吓人的 xià rén de

👹 How to say “a monster”

  • 🇫🇷 French: un monstre
  • 🇩🇪 German: ein Monster
  • 🇧🇷 Portuguese: Um monstro
  • 🇮🇹 Italian: un mostro
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: un monstruo
  • 🇨🇳 Chinese: 一个怪兽 yī gè guài shòu

Family of four wearing homemade cardboard Halloween monster masks and putting up their hands as if walking like Frankenstein.

🕷 How to say “a spider”

  • 🇫🇷 French: une araignée
  • 🇩🇪 German: eine Spinne
  • 🇧🇷 Portuguese: uma aranha
  • 🇮🇹 Italian: un ragno
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: una araña
  • 🇨🇳 Chinese: 一只蜘蛛 yī zhī zhī zhū

🧹 How to say “a broomstick”

  • 🇫🇷 French: un balai
  • 🇩🇪 German: ein Besen
  • 🇧🇷 Portuguese: uma vassoura
  • 🇮🇹 Italian: una scopa
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: una escoba
  • 🇨🇳 Chinese: 一把扫帚 yī bǎ sào zhu

☠️ How to say “a cemetery” or “a graveyard”

  • 🇫🇷 French: un cimetière
  • 🇩🇪 German: ein Friedhof
  • 🇧🇷 Portuguese: um cemitério
  • 🇮🇹 Italian: un cimitero
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: un cementerio
  • 🇨🇳 Chinese: 一块墓地 yī kuài mù dì

🦸‍♂️ How to say “a costume”

  • 🇫🇷 French: un déguisement
  • 🇩🇪 German: eine Verkleidung
  • 🇧🇷 Portuguese: uma fantasia
  • 🇮🇹 Italian: un travestimento
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: un disfraz
  • 🇨🇳 Chinese: 服装/伪装 fú zhuāng/wěi zhuāng

🐈 How to say “a black cat”

  • 🇫🇷 French: un chat noir
  • 🇩🇪 German: eine schwarze Katze
  • 🇧🇷 Portuguese: um gato negro
  • 🇮🇹 Italian: un gatto nero
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: un gato negro
  • 🇨🇳 Chinese: 一只黑猫 yī zhī hēi māo

Speaking of animals and costumes, humans aren’t the only ones who get to dress up for this celebration… Americans reportedly spent $490 million on pet Halloween costumes in 2019! Now that’s scary!

Black Boston Terrier dog wearing a pink unicorn Halloween costume with a gold horn.

🦇 How to say “a bat”

  • 🇫🇷 French: une chauve souris
  • 🇩🇪 German: eine Fledermaus
  • 🇧🇷 Portuguese: um morcego
  • 🇮🇹 Italian: un pipistrello
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: un murciélago
  • 🇨🇳 Chinese: 一隻蝙蝠 Yī zhī biānfú

🧪 How to say “a potion”

  • 🇫🇷 French: une potion
  • 🇩🇪 German: ein Trank
  • 🇧🇷 Portuguese: uma poção
  • 🇮🇹 Italian: una pozione
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: una poción
  • 🇨🇳 Chinese: 一剂药水 yī jì yào shuǐ

💀 How to say “a skeleton”

  • 🇫🇷 French: un squelette
  • 🇩🇪 German: ein Skelett
  • 🇧🇷 Portuguese: um esqueleto
  • 🇮🇹 Italian: uno scheletro
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: un esqueleto
  • 🇨🇳 Chinese: 一个骨架 yī gè gǔ jià

🏚 How to say “a haunted house”

  • 🇫🇷 French: une maison hantée
  • 🇩🇪 German: ein heimgesuchtes Haus
  • 🇧🇷 Portuguese: uma casa assombrada
  • 🇮🇹 Italian: una casa infestata
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: una casa embrujada, una casa encantada
  • 🇨🇳 Chinese: 一个闹鬼的房子 yī gè nào guǐ de fáng zi

🧟‍♀️ How to say “a zombie”

  • 🇫🇷 French: un zombie
  • 🇩🇪 German: ein Zombie
  • 🇧🇷 Portuguese: um zumbi
  • 🇮🇹 Italian: uno zombie
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: un zombi
  • 🇨🇳 Chinese: 一个僵尸 yī gè jiāng shī

🧛‍♂️ How to say “a vampire”

  • 🇫🇷 French: un vampire
  • 🇩🇪 German: ein Vampir
  • 🇧🇷 Portuguese: um vampiro
  • 🇮🇹 Italian: un vampiro
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: un vampiro, una vampiresa
  • 🇨🇳 Chinese: 一个吸血鬼 yī gè xī xuè guǐ

🐺 How to say “a werewolf”

  • 🇫🇷 French: un loup garou
  • 🇩🇪 German: ein Werwolf
  • 🇧🇷 Portuguese: um lobisomem
  • 🇮🇹 Italian: un lupo mannaro
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: un hombre lobo
  • 🇨🇳 Chinese: 一个狼人 yī gè láng rén

⚰️ How to say “a coffin”

  • 🇫🇷 French: un cerceuil
  • 🇩🇪 German: ein Sarg
  • 🇧🇷 Portuguese: um caixão
  • 🇮🇹 Italian: una bara
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: un ataúd
  • 🇨🇳 Chinese: 一个棺材 yī gè guān cái


Now You Know Halloween Words in 6 Languages!

And voilà! Now you know the most important Halloween words in Spanish and 5 other languages. With MosaLingua’s Spaced Repetition System, memorizing them is easier than casting a memory spell with a magic potion—and you won’t need any rat tails, werewolf fangs, zombie snot, or cauldrons to do it! Though spooky season only lasts the month of October, a lot of this Halloween vocabulary can be repurposed for talking about other things, so it’s worth learning.

Take It Further

If you liked this article about Halloween vocabulary, bookmark these other articles to be sure you’re ready to talk about other holidays in your target language:

Are there any Halloween words you’d add to this list? Let us know in the comments!