Want to say bye in Japanese?
That’s good. Real good. You’re about to get hit with 23 variations of how to say bye in Japanese. Why 23? So you have variety and sound like a confident speaker, my dear junkie.
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23 Good Ways to Say BYE in Japanese
As you read this, also listen to this Japanese audio lesson on greetings (hello and goodbye) provided by JapanesePod101 (click here to get more lessons). You will hear the pronunciation and explanations on when and how to use the greetings. Just press the play button below.
- 3-Minute Japanese – Greetings by JapanesePod101
- Bye Bye
- Bai bai
Yes, this is the English way of how to say bye in Japanese. Because it’s a foreign word, it’s written in Katakana rather than Hiragana. Just a cute way of how to say bye in Japanese. Adults use it. Friends use it amongst themselves. Casual.
- Thank you for your hard work/You worked hard today
- otsukaresama deshita)
Memorize this. This is a super common phrase and you’ll hear it ALL the time. Don’t take it for its literal meaning – but it’s used to say bye to someone that has done work or did a lot. For example, coworkers can say it at the end of the day. You can say it to your friend after a long basketball game. If you want to be casual, just drop the deshita and say “otsukare.”
- Next time!
- Mata kondou
Very simple way to say bye in Japanese and very casual. Not much to it. Here’s the vocabulary breakdown if you’re interested. There are more “mata” examples in #7. You’ll be interested in the many ways there are on how to say bye in Japanese.
- Mata – Again
- Kondou – Next time.
- Shitsurei shimasu
- Excuse me
A super polite phrase. Use it with teachers, bosses and people above you. Basically, you’re apologizing or excusing yourself to leave. Otherwise, don’t use it with friends. Literally, it means – I will be rude/do a rude thing... (like leave!)
- shitsurei – rude
- shimasu – to do
- Mata aou
- Let’s meet again.
Casual phrase. This simply means “let’s meet again.” If you want to be polite, say また会いましょう (mata aimashou). You can even add a “ne” if you want to.
- Itte kimasu
- I’m off!
This is only used in a specific situation – when you’re leaving the house or when you leave a place that you will return to very soon. Like, later today. You can say it to your family. Literally it means – I’ll go and come back. So, they can expect you to be back. In response, they will say – itterasshai. (Which is kind of like “take care.”)
- Mata ashita
- See you tomorrow
Literally, this means “again tomorrow” but it’s used to say “see you tomorrow.” There are more examples of this. You can substitute tomorrow with 1) next week, 2) next month, 3) some day, 4) next year… or 5) “next time” as you learned with また今度. Here are more examples.
- また来週 – Mata Raishuu – See you next week
- また来月 – Mata Raigetsu – See you next month
- また来年 – Mata Rainen – See you next year (who the hell waits that long)
- また月曜日 – Mata Getsuyoubi – See you on Monday
70% of Japanese people don’t use this. Why? A “sayounara” is a forever-type goodbye. A you’ll-never-see-them-again bye. Think of breaking up. Or going on an Interstellar mission to space. It’s super formal and uptight. The one situation where people use it is – students saying it to teachers. So that’s what sayonara means in Japanese.
- Go chisou sama deshita
- Thank you for the feast
Yes, literally, it means “thank you for the feast” because chisou means feast. When do you use it? After you’re done eating. Is this really a way to say bye in Japanese? Yes. For example, once you’re done eating at a restaurant, you can say this to the chefs. It’s indeed a parting greeting… while at the same time thanking the cooks. You can thank your mom too if you want.
- Ki wo tsukete
- Be careful
Another variation of saying bye in Japanese. Like in English, the point here is to tell them to get home safe. Not much else to know. Also, yes, a casual Japanese phrase.
- O daiji ni
- Get well/Take care of yourself
People will use this on you if you’re sick. Every time I leave a clinic or hospital in Japan, this is what the staff and nurses tell me – as a way to say bye in Japanese. So, use it on sick people!
- Kyou wa arigatou gozaimashita
- Thank you for today
Aw, did someone take you out on a date? Aren’t you cute? I mean… yeah… I, the handsome Linguajunkie, go on dates all the time too! Okay, back to the subject!! This is a way to say bye and thank someone for the day. Use it for dates, for when someone helped you and for any other reason you’d want to thank a person and leave.
- Ja ne
- Bye/See ya
Super common phrase you’ll hear every single day. Friends use this a lot.
- De wa mata
- See you later
Another way to say see you later in Japanese. Casual.
Okay, I gave you different phrases that mean similar things. Don’t think too hard about what the differences are. It’s like splitting hairs. It’s good to know variations.
Now…speaking of variations of how to say bye in Japanese – there are a TON that involve “ja,” “ato” and “mata.” And there’s not much difference in meaning. But let’s clear up something:
- ja, sore ja and de wa – mean “well then.” You’d use it to transition to a goodbye or cut the meeting and get out. It’s kind of like an awkward “well….” except you can use it to be awkward or to be cold and hurry the hell up.
Let’s take a look.
14) じゃ、後で。Ja, ato de.
15) それじゃ、後で。Soreja, ato de.
16) また後で。 Mata ato de.
17) じゃ、また後で。 Ja, mata ato de.
18) それじゃ、また後で。Soreja, mata ato de.
19) 後でね。 Ato de ne.
21) じゃ、後でね。 Ja, ato de ne.
22) それじゃ、後でね。Soreja, ato de ne.
22) また後でね。 Mata ato de ne.
23) それじゃ、また後でね。 Soreja, mata ato de ne.
Do you know of other unique ways to say bye in Japanese? Leave a comment below and I’ll add it to this list. I read all the comments!
– The Main Junkie
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