Hello is the first thing on our minds.
Whether we’re battling foreign language anxiety or just general nerves, we’re most concerned with getting past that first five seconds of the conversation.
Because that’s the hardest part.
There’s a lot of truth to this, and it goes beyond foreign language learning.
Often, if you can just get started on something, it’s not so hard to keep going.
But when you think about it, not knowing how to say goodbye is just as awkward and impractical as not knowing how to say hello.
After all, how do you end a phone conversation?
How do you walk away from someone you’ve been talking to without seeming rude?
As counterintuitive as it may sound, it’s never too early to learn how to say goodbye.
Learn How to Say Goodbye in 25+ Different Languages
Below are some key phrases for saying goodbye in some of the world’s most popular languages. Each set of phrases is accompanied by a video that you can watch for more context and pronunciation.
Now, I know that despite how great videos are, it’s sometimes annoying to have to watch them in the middle of a post or an article when you’re trying to read. So, for each language below, you can simply read through a couple of ways to say goodbye if you like or play the video if and when you want. Because some of the videos below cover more than just goodbyes, they’re all linked to cover the right material as soon as you click on them.
Speaking of videos, if you enjoy learning these expressions from the videos below, you’ll probably love learning with FluentU. FluentU takes real-world videos—like movie trailers, music videos, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language lessons.
With FluentU, you’ll also get access to interactive subtitles that let you click on any word to find out more about it. You can also see the word used in example sentences and other videos.
You can even keep learning with customized vocabulary lists, dynamic flashcards and fun quizzes.
Now, let’s find out how to say goodbye in more than 25 languages!
As the entertaining video below from LearnArabicwithMaha explains, مع السلامة (ma’assalama) is a formal, polite way of saying goodbye. Maha mentions a “spoken” variation of ma’assalame—as with Arabic in general, pronunciation and usage can differ between dialects.
5 Different Ways to Say Bye in Arabic! (LearnArabicwithMaha)
Additionally, ভালো থেকো (bhalo theko) is kind of like saying “take care.”
In Cantonese, you can use 拜拜 (bái bái) for a casual “bye,” which sounds like the English “bye-bye.” However, note that while the written syllables look the same, they’re pronounced in different tones.
The video below, which goes into more detail about the phrases above, is from Innovative Language Learning. Their courses focus on practical conversations that you can apply to any situation. Each lesson is taught by a language expert and comes with plenty of study tools. Their audio lessons cover cultural tips, vocabulary, grammar and more and are suitable for all levels. You can sign up to access more of their videos and material material on their website.
3 Ways to Say Bye in Cantonese (Learn Cantonese with CantoneseClass101.com)
This travel video from GeoBeats explains that you can use farvel for “goodbye” in Danish, and hej (which sounds kind of like the English “hi”) if you want to be more informal. As you might guess, hej can also be used to say “hi.”
Hej is often doubled to hej hej to say “bye,” and only means goodbye when used like this.
Top Local Phrases (Copenhagen, Denmark) (GeoBeats)
As the learning video below explains, daag, among other variations, is a word that you’ll hear to say “bye” or “goodbye” in a more informal context.
Tot ziens is a handy phrase for “see you later.”
The video below actually goes into quite a bit of detail about sentences that you might use when saying goodbye to someone or wishing them well, so it’s great to watch for more context.
Learn Dutch for beginners – goodbye in dutch (ifactner)
In Farsi, خداحافظ (khodāhāfez) is a common way of saying “goodbye.”
فعلا (felan) is a more casual goodbye that you can use with friends.
Learn more Farsi phrases for farewell in this video from Reza Nazari.
Most Common Farsi Phrases to Say Goodbye (Reza Nazari)
How to Say Goodbye in Filipino (Filipicano)
The video below is from a channel called Français Immersion, and you can probably figure out what that means even if you don’t speak any French. Despite the fact that the videos are all in French, they include all kinds of gestures and images to make them accessible for learners, so if you’d like to learn French, check them out!
You can also check out this post on more ways to say goodbye in French to expand your repertoire.
How to Say Goodbye in French (Français Immersion)
There are a ton of ways to say goodbye in German, but here are just a couple.
As you can see, Jenny from lingoni German really went all out with the video below that details 25 ways of saying goodbye, so be sure to check it out if you have an interest in exploring the language further.
German Lesson – 25 Ways to Say Goodbye (lingoni German)
You’re likely already familiar with the word नमस्ते (namaste), which has been incorporated into popular yoga culture in English-speaking countries. नमस्ते can be used to say “goodbye” or “hello.”
फ़िर मिलेंगे (phir milenge) means “see you later” or “see you again.”
The video below is another great offering from one of Innovative Language Learning’s courses.
3 Ways to Say Bye in Hindi (Learn Hindi with HindiPod101.com)
Selamat tinggal and selamat jalan are both ways of saying goodbye, but the first is typically used when you’re the one leaving, while the second is used when you’re the one staying. Sampai jumpa can be a more informal way of saying “see you.”
Saying Goodbye in Indonesian Language (Learn Indonesian with Think Bahasa)
You probably already know at least one of these. Ciao is the casual way of saying goodbye (or hello), while arrivederci is the formal equivalent.
It’s worth mentioning that ciao, like the English “bye,” has become very international, with some other languages having adopted their own spellings of it. You could probably often get away with using it in a random location informally, as people tend to know what it means.
So if you want to learn Italian, distinguish yourself from the pack early on by loading up on some basic but lesser-known Italian phrases.
How to Say Goodbye in Italian (mahalodotcom)
Stop using sayounara. Yeah, I know Google Translate told you to, but as Misa points out in the video below, not only are you probably pronouncing it wrong, but you’re likely using it incorrectly and confusing people. In any case, there are other ways to say goodbye in Japanese that are much more common.
In a more formal situation, you can use しつれいします (shitsurei shimasu), which is a polite way of excusing yourself. The video goes into more detail about how to use this phrase in different scenarios.
Stop saying “Sayonara” – How to Say “Bye” (Japanese Ammo with Misa)
In Korean, you can use 안녕 (an-young) as an informal way of saying “hi” or “bye” to close friends and family and those younger than you.
As long as you’re getting into goodbyes, why not enjoy learning some other basic Korean phrases? Also, be sure to check out the video below because it’s adorable.
How to say Hello and goodbye in Korean (Korean Hanna)
In Malay, selamat tinggal is a way of saying goodbye if you’re the person leaving. If you’re the person staying, you’d say selamat jalan. These might look very familiar, and that might be because you saw them in the Indonesian section above. Indonesian and standardized Malay (as used in Malaysia) are actually both forms of the Malay language. They’re mutually intelligible but very different in some ways.
Another way to say goodbye in Malay, which you can use whether you’re staying or going, is sampai jumpa lagi.
The video below goes into more detail about how to pronounce the phrases and their meanings, as well as some sample conversations.
Goodbye in Malay Language (I Learn Malay)
再见 (zàijiàn) is goodbye in Mandarin Chinese. The video below goes into detail about the character construction and meaning.
Learn “Goodbye!” in Chinese (ChineseCUBES)
In this second video below, you can hear another pronunciation example of 再見, only you’ll notice it’s written a little differently here. This is just the difference between traditional Chinese and simplified Chinese.
This video also introduces a couple more ways to say goodbye in Mandarin, including 再會 (tzài hueì), which is a more formal way of saying goodbye.
How to Say “Goodbye” | Mandarin Chinese (Howcast)
The video below explains that ha det is a standard goodbye, which literally means “have it” and exists in many variations, including ha det bra (have it good). You can also use farvel, which may sound familiar due to the Danish video above and the similarities between Scandinavian languages.
Norwegian Language: Basic Hello & Goodbye (Norwegian Teacher – Karin)
In the video below, Marzena explains that do widzenia is a versatile expression for “goodbye” in Polish. You can use dobranoc to say “good night” or do zobaczenia to say “see you” in informal situations.
This is yet another great video by Innovative Language Learning.
3 Ways to Say Bye in Polish (Learn Polish with PolishPod101.com)
While the video below is from a European Portuguese learning channel, it outlines the differences in speech between Brazil and Portugal.
An informal way to say goodbye is tchau, like the Italian ciao, though it tends to be used with a softer “s” sound in Portugal.
How To Say Goodbye in Portuguese (Learn European Portuguese Online)
The video below highlights several phrases in Punjabi, including some for saying goodbye.
You can say “take care” with ਆਪਣਾ ਖਿਆਲ ਰੱਖਣਾ (apna khayal rakhna). ਅਲਵਿਦਾ (alvida) is “goodbye” or “bye-bye.”
The video below quickly covers a bunch of Romanian basics in just under three minutes, including la revedere (goodbye), and pa for a more casual “bye.” Note that Romanian is actually a Romance language, like French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. Romance languages tend to have certain similarities, so knowing this can make learning easier!
How to Say in Romanian Basics (WatchMojo.com)
In this video from Cafe Russian, we learn some ways to say goodbye, including the more polite до свидания (do svidaniya) and the casual пока (poka). The difference between formal and informal is a pretty big deal in Russian, so make sure to brush up on this if you want to learn it.
There’s also, once again, чао (chao) from the Italian ciao, but as the video notes, чао in Russian can’t be used to say hello, only goodbye.
3 ways to say “Goodbye” in Russian (Cafe Russian)
If you want some more tips on goodbye expressions, including why you may want to think twice before using the pop culture phenomenon hasta la vista, check out the Butterfly Spanish video below.
6 ways to say goodbye in Spanish (Butterfly Spanish)
The video below shares several basic expressions in Swedish, including your standard goodbyes.
There’s also ha det så bra, which literally means “have it so good” and links up with the expression ha det bra in the Norwegian video above.
Learn Swedish (Hello/How Are You?/Goodbye) (Pheonix TV92)
Görüşürüz is like “see you later.” The video walks you through several variations on these phrases and some additional ones with helpful context.
How to say “Goodbye” in Turkish (Learn Turkish with Muki)
This video shares several popular ways to say goodbye and wish someone well in Ukrainian, including the standard formal до побачення (do pobachennya — goodbye).
An informal way to say “bye” is бувай (buvay).
How to say Goodbye in Ukrainian (Oksana Riabets)
An easy and versatile way to say goodbye in Urdu is خدا حافظ (khuda hafiz), which may be even easier for you as it’s similar to the equivalent expression in Farsi above.
To say goodbye specifically at night, you can say شب بخیر (shab bakhair — goodnight).
Check out the following video by Innovative Language Learning for more information on saying goodbye in Urdu.
3 Ways to Say Bye in Urdu (Learn Urdu with UrduPod101.com)
Now, you’ll need to be careful here. One way to say goodbye in Vietnamese is (chào) tạm biệt, but chào, which is optional in this expression, isn’t from the Italian in this case. It’s just an interesting coincidence that the words sound similar, but it’s a coincidence, at least etymologically.
Furthermore, chào tạm biệt, unlike ciao, is a formal way to say goodbye and is one of those goodbyes that tends to carry a sense of finality. Chào is used as a greeting, but only when following it with a proper term of address, which is covered at the beginning of the video below if you want to rewind it.
In other words, as an exception to what we talked about above in terms of the versatility of ciao, chào and ciao, these are not words that you want to get mixed up or throw around casually in a Vietnamese language context.
So, how do you say goodbye in a less formal way in Vietnamese? You can simply say bye bye.
Hello & Goodbye (Love Vietnamese Love Saigon)
Learning goodbye in many languages isn’t just a good way to prepare yourself for encounters in those languages but to see the similarities and differences between them.
Have fun with the videos in this post, and goodbye ’til next time!
Elisabeth Cook is a freelance writer who you can find on Twitter (@CooksChicken), trying to avoid being told she’s at an Arby’s.
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