Goodbye in Chinese

Saying goodbye to someone in Chinese is just as important as saying hello to someone in our culture. How many ways can you say goodbye in Chinese? You've probably picked up the phrase 下次见 xiàcì jiàn -- meaning "see you next time!" by now from the end of some of our lessons. But did you know there are a lot of things you can say in different situations when parting with a friend, family or colleague?

Let's take a look at all the "goodbye" scenarios.

Pronouncing "goodbye" in Chinese

You might not know this, but you only say "bye" seriously to departed ones. To all living people, we prefer "see you again" in Chinese. So the most common way of saying "goodbye" is actually 再见 zàijiàn, which literally means "again see". Her e are some basic ways of saying that in an everyday conversation.

再见

zàijiàn

Goodbye (literal: again see)

再会

zàihuì

Goodbye (literal: again meet)

下次见

xiàcì jiàn

See you next time (literal: next time see)

For a casual twist, you can also say "see you soon" in Chinese. In addition, more and more young people use the direct phonetic translation of "bye" to bid goodbyes to friends and families as well. One interesting aspect is how the Chinese character works out for "bye". It is pronounced bāi and written like this: . If you take a closer look, this character can actually be divided into three vertical parts: + + . Here, 手 shǒu means "hand" and 分 fēn means "to part"; so if your hand is to part with another person's hand, you two are indeed bidding goodbye.

Incidentally, to "break up" with someone or a relationship is called 分手 fēnshǒu.

回头见

huítóu jiàn

See you soon (literal: turnaround head see)

掰掰

bāibai

Bye-bye

To bring the goodbye scene to the next level, here are some phrases that come in handy when you are seeing someone off. It may be that a friend is leaving town for a new job, a family member moving to another country; or a sibling is starting boarding school. Or, the sad and ultimate goodbye to a deceased loved one......

祝你有个美好的一天

zhù nǐ yǒugè měihǎo de yìtiān

Have a lovely day (literal: wish you have a lovely one day)

保重

bǎozhòng

Take care (formal)

好好照顾自己

hǎohao zhàogù zìjǐ

Take care yourself (casual)

珍重再见

zhēnzhòng zàijiàn

So long, farewell

永别了

yǒngbié le

Goodbye forever (formal, to a deceased one)

If you want more lessons on Chinese salutations then I recommend that you check out the following:

Xià jiàn (下次见)

 

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Lin Ping
Rocket Chinese


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