Do you want to learn how to say goodbye in different languages? If so, you have come to the right spot!
In terms of words that you should learn when preparing to visit a new country, goodbye is one of the most important. Most often, when saying goodbye we mean to convey an expression of good wishes to the other party, which is why this greeting, along with hello, is so important to know when traveling.
I have learned to speak three languages, and studied many others for my travels, and always try to learn this common phrase before traveling to a new country or when experiencing a new culture. I study linguistics as much as I can as well. To help you in your language studies and future travels, you will find a list of the 101 ways to say goodbye in this post.
This post begins with the top 25 most spoken languages and then breaks up each of the remaining languages by continent of origin.
“Goodbye” is a commonly used term in everyday language; it signifies the end of an interaction or the departure from a place or situation. In English, it is derived from the phrase “God be with ye”, and carries a connotation of goodwill and well-wishing.
In various contexts, “goodbye” might denote a temporary parting, such as leaving for work in the morning, or it can signify a more permanent or long-term separation. The term, despite its simplicity, carries an emotional weight, illustrating the importance of farewells in human interaction and communication. And this simple fact is true in the variety of different cultures that are reflected in the languages represented in this post.
Bye in Different Languages: The Top 25 Most Spoken Languages
I’m starting off this post with the languages that are most spoken around the globe, and therefore the most useful languages to know if you are studying a foreign language. Also, known that there are often many different ways to say goodbye in any language, but I’ve listed the most common options here.
Note: This “top 25” list, is based on speakers’ native language vs. languages studied.
1. Mandarin: 再見(Zàijiàn)
Zàijiàn is a neutral way to say goodbye in Mandarin, meaning that it is neither formal or informal. It is common to say 拜拜 (bái bái) – similar to English – in informal settings.
Note: Mandarin Chinese is primarily spoken in China and Taiwan.
2. Spanish: adiós (ah-dee-ohs)
This Spanish word literally means “to God”. Other popular phrases include, chao, hasta luego, or nos vemos.
Note: Spanish is a romance language, and is the second most spoken language in the world. It is spoken in over 18 countries and territories, including Spain, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
3. English: Bye / Good-bye / Bye-bye
Other common ways to say this phrase in English include see you soon or see you later.
Note: English is a major language in the US, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. As as a second language, there are more English speakers than any other language in this earth.
4. Arabic: مع السلامة (Ma’a salama)
Note: Arabic is spoken in 25 countries, but the language does differ greatly from African countries (e.g., Morocco, Algiria) to the Gulf / Middle East countries (e.g., Kuwait, the UAE). Egyptian Arabic is most commonly taught as a “neutral” version that can be understood by the majority of speakers.
5. Hindi: अलविदा (alavida)
Alavida is the more formal way to say goodbye, but Namaste is a common way to say farewell to someone.
Note: Hindi is one of the official languages of India (alongside English).
6. Portuguese: Tchau
Tchau is a particularly common way to say goodbye in Brazilian Portuguese. Other common phrases include adeus (just like Spanish adiós) as well as até logo, which means “see you later”.
Note: Portuguese is the official language of Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe and East Timor.
7. Bengali: বিদায় (Bidāẏa)
Note: Begali is spoken in Northeastern India and Bangladesh.
8. Russian: До свидания (Do svidaniya)
Do svidaniya literally means “till date”, and can be used in both formal and informal situations.
Note: Russia is a slavic language and the official language of Russia, Belarus, Kyrgystan, and Kazakhstan, and spoken in several former Soviet countries.
Sayōnara comes from Sayō naraba (“If that’s the way it is”), a phrase that was originally used by people before leaving in a way that would sum up a conversation. Nowadays, Sayōnara is a semi-formal way to say “goodbye” in Japanese.
Note: Japan is the official language of Japan and spoken widely in Hawaii too.
10. Landha (Western Punjabi): ਅਲਵਿਦਾ (Alavidā)
Note: Landha is spoken in parts of Pakistan and India.
11. Vietnamese: Tạm biệt
Tạm biệt is the more formal way to say goodbye. You can use Bye Huy as an informal way to say goodbye as well.
Note: Vietnamese is the official language of Vietnam.
12. Turkish: Güle güle
This is the informal phrase for goodbye. If you are speaking in a polite way, you can use the phrase Hoşçakalın, which means, “stay pleasantly”.
Note: Turkish is the official language of Turkey and also spoken in nearby countries such as Cyprus, Iran, Iraq, and more.
13. Marathi: निरोप (Nirōpa)
Note: Marathi is spoken in western and central India (including Mumbai).
14. Telugu: వీడ్కోలు (Vīḍkōlu)
Note: Telugu is spoken in Southern India.
15. Malay: selamat tinggal
Note: Malay is spoken primarily in Malaysia, and some neighboring countries.
16. Korean: 안녕히 가세요 (annyeonghi gaseyo)
This phrase is used most often when you’re staying, but the other person is leaving. It is the appropriate way to say goodbye in most situations, and literally means: please go peacefully.
When you are the one leaving, the phrase changes to: 안녕히 계세요 (annyeonghi gyeseyo). This phrase means: “stay peacefully”.
Note: Korean is spoken in both North Korea and South Korea.
17. French: Au revoir
This phrase means “until we see each other again”. Another common way to say goodbye is à bientôt, which means “see you soon”.
Note: French is the official language of 28 countries, including France, Benin, Congo, Monaco, Senegal, and more.
18. Tamil: பிரியாவிடை(Piriyāviṭai)
Note: Tamil is the official language of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
19. German: Auf Wiedersehen
This phrase means “see you again”. Another common and casual way to say goodbye is tschüss.
Note: The German langauge is official in German, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. It also is widely spoken in the Italian province of South Tyrol, Luxembourg, and Belgium.
20. Urdu:خدا حافظ (hudah hafiz)
Note: Urdu is the national language of Pakistan, and it has strong lexical similarity to Hindi (both derived from ancient Sanskrit).
21. Javanese: pamit
Note: Javanese is the official language of Indonesia.
22. Italian: arrivederci
This phrase means “until we see each other again”, and can be used in both informal situations. In Italy you will hear Ciao or Ciao Ciao as a way to say good bye as well.
Note: Italian is the official language of Italy, as well as San Marino, and certain provinces in Switzerland. It is the closest language to ancient Latin.
23. Farsi: خدا حافظ (khoda hafez)
This phrase means “God keep you safe”.
Note: Farsi is also known as Persian, and is the official language of Iran.
This is an informal way to say goodbye. A more formal way to say bye is વિદાય (vidaay).
Note: Gujarati is primarily spoken in the Indian state of Gujarat.
25. Pashto: خداحافظ (Khudahafiz)
Note: Pashto is spoken in Afganistan, Pakistan, and Iran.
Goodbye in Different Languages: African Languages
26. Afrikaans: totsiens
27. Amharic:ባይ (bayi)
28. Bambara: k’an bɛn
28. Fulani: Jippu jam
29. Hausa: wallahi
30.Igbo: Ka ọ dị
31. Malagasy: Veloma
32. Oromo: nagaatti
33. Shona: Sara mushe
34. Somali: nabad gelyo
35. Sudanese: ma’a as-salama
36. Swahili: kwaheri
37. Tigrinya: ሰላም ኩን
38. Twi: akyire
39. Xhosa: Sala kakuhle
40.Yoruba: O dabọ
41. Zulu: Hamba kahle
Goodbye in Different Languages: Asian Languages
43. Assamese: বিদায়
44. Azerbaijani: sağol
45. Burmese: သွားတော့မယ် (swarrtotmaal)
46. Cantonese: 去旅行 (hoi loi hung)
47. Cebuano: ang pagbiyahe
48. Dzonghka: Shu lay log jay gae
49. Filipino: paalam
50. Georgian: ნახვამდის (nakhvamdis)
51. Hebrew: שלום, שלום (Peace, peace)
52. Indonesian: Selamat tinggal
53. Kannada: ವಿದಾಯ (Vidāya)
54. Kazakh: Сау болыңыз (Saw bolıñız)
55. Khmer: លាហើយ (leahaey)
56. Kurdish: Bi xatirê te
57. Kyrgyz: Кош болуңуз (Koş boluŋuz)
58. Laotian: ສະບາຍດີ (sabaidi)
59. Mongolian: Баяртай (Bayartai)
60. Nepali: अलविदा(Alavidā)
61. Sinhala: ආයුබෝවන් (āyubōvan)
62. Thai:ลาก่อน (Lā k̀xn)
63. Turkmen: Hoş gal
64. Uzbek: Xayr
Goodbye in Different Languages: European Languages
65. Albanian: Mirupafshim
66. Basque: Agur
67. Bosnian: Doviđenja
68. Bulgarian: Довиждане (Dovizhdane)
69. Catalan: Adéu
70. Corsican: Avvedeci
71. Croatian: Doviđenja
72. Czech: Ahoj
73. Danish: Farvel
74. Dutch: Tot ziens
75. Estonian: Hüvasti
76. Finnish: Hyvästi
77. Galician: Adeus
78. Greek:Αντιο σας (Antio sas)
79. Hungarian: Viszontlátásra
80. Icelandic: Bless
81. Irish: Slán
82. Latin: Vale
83. Lithuanian: Viso gero
84. Luxembourgish: Äddi
85. Macedonian: Збогум (Zbogum)
86. Maltese: Addio
87. Norwegian: Ha det
88. Polish: Do widzenia
89. Scottish Gaelic: Mar sin leat
90. Swedish: Adjö
91. Ukranian: до побачення (do pobachennya)
92. Western Frisian: Oant sjen
93. Welsh: Hwyl fawr
Goodbye in Different Languages: North American Languages
94. Hatian Creole: orevwa
95. Nahuatl: Timo-itazque
Goodbye in Different Languages: Oceanic Languages
96. Hawaiian: Aloha
Fun fact: Aloha means both hello and goodbye in the Hawaiian language. This is why Hawaii is known as the “Aloha state”.
97. Maori: Kia ora
98. Samoan: Tofa
Goodbye in Different Languages: South American Languages
99. Aymara: Jan mayampi
100. Guarani: Jajoecha peve
101. Southern Quechua: Tupananchikkama
The Best Apps and Resources for Language Learning
If you are interested in learning a new language, here are a few apps and resources I think may be the most helpful to you:
As I mentioned in my post on Spanish phrases, practicing is really key to feeling comfortable using a new language. You can practice with native speakers by using my favorite language resource, iTalki. On this site you can practice with a tutor, formal teacher, or others just seeking to do a language exchange (for free!). It is hands down the best way to expand your language skills.
This app is best for improving your reading comprehension. And believe it or not, improving your reading comprehension is maybe the best way to consistently expand your vocabulary. (Consider how babies learn languages). On this app, you are provided with videos that come with captions to help you pick up on the vocabulary that you hear. Try Lingopie today!
While I can’t recommend Duolingo alone for learning a langauge, I recommend using this free app to expand and practice your vocabulary in a new language. Note, there is a paid option, but I think the free version is all that you need with this one.
Even better for building vocabulary is Drops, in my opinion. It has a variety of more real-life categories that you can opt for yourself to learn from. You do have to pay an annual fee, but it is absolutely worth it.
If you don’t have time to learn a language before you travel. I recommend using one of the best translation apps out there – Google Translate. This app does wanders for picking up live conversations so you can chat with people like taxi drivers or other new friends in the local language. Even if it is a little indirect.
FAQs About Goodbye in Different Languages
There are numerous alternatives to the word “bye” that you can use to denote a departure. A more casual and informal option could be “see ya” or “catch you later.” On a more formal note, you could use “farewell” or “until we meet again.”
A polite alternative to the word “bye” could be “take care” or “good day”.
In Scotland, a common way to say goodbye is “Cheerio.” However, this is more informal and is often used amongst friends and family. For a more formal setting, the Scots may use “Goodbye” or “Farewell.”
An Irish goodbye, also known as a French exit, is a term used to describe the act of leaving a social gathering or event without notifying others or saying farewell. Despite its name, it’s not necessarily specific to Irish culture. The term is often used in a humorous or playful context, although some may view it as impolite or lacking in social etiquette.
A French exit, also known as an ‘Irish goodbye’, is a term used to denote the act of leaving a social gathering or event without formally announcing one’s departure. The phrase is used particularly when someone disappears quietly from a party without drawing attention to their exit. Though often seen as impolite, it’s a social strategy used to avoid lengthy farewells or to evade disrupting the flow of the event.
In Summary | Goodbye in Different Languages
I hope that this post has inspired you to explore languages more, or at the very least, inspired you to experience a bit of wanderlust. Learning how to say words like goodbye in different languages is the start to breaking down language barriers and is a great way to get to know new people in any new place.
More Words in Different Languages
Interested in Learning More? Check Out these Travel Language Guides:
- Spanish for travel
- Portuguese for travel
- Japanese for travel
- Greek for travel
- French for travel
- Thai for travel
- Languages and travel