12 Ways to Say Goodbye in Japanese
How to Say Goodbye in Japanese
You’ve heard “goodbye” in Japanese in movies or TV shows : さようなら ( sayounara ).
Yes, さ よ う な ら ( sayounara ) literally goodbye in Japanese. But the Japanese almost never use it. In fact, it can lead to a bit of embarrassment or awkwardness if you end your conversation with さ よ う な ら.
The reason is さ よ う な ら like saying “goodbye forever.” It’s almost as formal as saying “goodbye” in Japanese, with a stronger sense of ending. On Japanese TV shows, the only time you hear it is when someone says goodbye to a loved one who has passed away or to someone they will never see again. So its expressive nuances are very strong. Younger generations in Japan say they never use this word because it makes them feel sad.
So what’s the best way to say goodbye in Japanese? It depends on the situation. There are some that are almost always acceptable, while other Japanese phrases are best suited for situations like saying goodbye to a colleague at work.
1. “See you again” – じゃあね ( Ja ne )
The most natural, common way to say goodbye in Japanese is to say じ ゃ あ ね ( Ja ne , “See ya!”).
This phrase is most common because you usually say it to the people closest to you. However, you wouldn’t say that to your boss or teacher. There are other more formal phrases for that.
2. “ Bye “ – バイバイ (bai bai)
バ イ バ イ ( baibai , “Goodbye”). It’s said the same way it is in English, and it’s another casual, casual way to say goodbye.
3. “ See you later ” – じゃあね is またね ( Mate ne )
A slight variation of じゃあね is またね or じゃあまたね . This means “see you later” in Japanese
Again, it’s casual, so you’ll be using it with friends, family, and others in your social network. But it’s very natural, and you’ll hear it often.
4. “See you tomorrow” – また明日 ( mata ashita )
To be more specific when you meet someone next, you can add “when”. For “See you tomorrow!” in Japanese you say また明日 ( mata ashita ).
You can change 明日 become anytime will be the time to meet again, such as また来週 ( mata raishuu , “See you next week”). Similarly, you can say “Until then” to それまで 、 じゃあね ( Sore made, ja ne ).
5. “I’m going” – 行って来ます (Itte kimasu)
There is a specific way to say goodbye when you leave home: 行って来ます ( itte kimasu ), means “I’ll go and come back. When someone says this to you when they’re leaving, the appropriate response would be 行ってらっしゃ い ( itterasshai ).
It means “go and return safely”.
You should usually only use it when leaving your own home.
6. “Sorry for leaving before you” – お先に失礼します (Osaki ni shitsureshimasu)
You would say this to your boss and co-workers, and it’s always polite. When you leave work, say お先に失礼します.
It was supposed to be an apology for leaving any work to those who stayed, but even if the work is done and the others are still there, you should still say this. It is simply politeness. If you’re talking to a colleague, you can add じゃあね or
7. “You’ve worked hard” お疲れ様でした – Otsukaresama deshita
Here’s a way to say goodbye in Japanese! When someone says お先に失礼します, you will say goodbye by replying
Actually, you can use the normal form お疲れ (otsukare ) to tell someone “wow, you worked hard”. For example, if a friend tells you that they speak Japanese all day, their brain may feel a little tired afterwards! So you say “お疲れ” to acknowledge that they worked hard until tired and that they did well.
8. “Thanks for everything” – お世話になります (Osewa ni narimasu)
Another business expression to use as a goodbye phrase. This is best when talking to a client or someone at work who has helped you.
お世話になります ( osewa ni narimasu ) It is translated as “thank you for everything” but also has the tone of “thank you for caring and supporting me”. If someone has helped you with a big task at work, you will definitely thank them with お 世 話 に な り ま す before you leave.
However, there is a more formal phrase that you use when thanking a customer for continuing to do business. That is
いつもお世話になっております ( itsumo osewa ni natte orimasu ). This is the most humble form of speech and means “thank you for always supporting me.” You’ll use this to end a phone call with a client or at the end of a business meeting, as a way of saying goodbye.
9. “Be careful” – 気を付けて (Ki wo tsukete)
It is appropriate in almost any situation and it is often used as a goodbye to say “Be careful going home.” You can use this one more often if you are breaking up late at night or the weather is not nice.
10. “Stay healthy” – 元気で (O-genki de)
The sentence pattern has a bit of a formal side, but you can still use it with friends, especially if you probably won’t see them for a while. People often say this as a goodbye while on vacation or holiday, to anyone you may not see for a few weeks, or if it’s flu season and you’re praying for someone to stay healthy.
11. “Get well soon” – お大事に (Odaiji ni)
As お元気で, you can use お大事に when parting.
If you go to the doctor when you are sick, the doctor will say this in place of goodbye. Alternatively, you can use this sentence pattern with friends, colleagues, or anyone with health problems to end a conversation.
12. “ Sorry for bothering ” – お邪魔します (Ojama shimashita)
When going to someone’s house in Japan, be polite when you say お邪魔します. You say it under any circumstances when entering someone else’s home, even if the visit has been planned and they are expecting you.
The same is true when you leave! You use the same expression in the past tense to say goodbye: お邪魔しました. Although it still means “I’ve been bothering you” but now the tone will be “thank you for helping me!” So always remember to thank your host with this phrase as a way to say goodbye.