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Saying good-bye properly in Russian


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Hello Everyone,


Well, we know how to say Hello! in Russian, don't we by now? Greetings are among the first words people learn when they decide to master a foreign language, isn't that true?

However, saying Good-Bye properly is no less important than saying Hello! After all, you are most likely to be remembered by the last things you say. Saying your good-byes properly is an important step in creating your image, when speaking to foreigners, trying to make friends, or just having a good time.

So, just as it is with the "Hello!" you can say it more and less formally (remember "Здравствуйте и Привет! " and the difference between the two?) you can say your good-byes in a formal way:

До свидания! = can be literally translated as "See you next time!"


Прощайте! = which has a slight implication of "Good-bye, I may never see you again". Also, this word is derived from the verb "Простить, прощать" - meaning to excuse someone, to pardon. You are not begging for forgiveness, though, when saying "Прощайте!" - in plural, or "Прощай!" in singular. You are just saying your good-buy, may be not expecting to see the person for quite some time.

In a less formal conversation other words come into play:

Пока! = Bye!

Всего хорошего! = All the best!, which at times is reduced to one word only - "Всего!"

Счастливо! - close to "may the happiness be with you!"

Всего наилучшего! - another variation of "All the best", could be used when finishing letters

До скорого! - See you soon!

Here is a video, where you can hear the formal and informal ways of saying "Good-Bye" in modern Russian.




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  • 1 year later...
Center Script Content

Dear russian_pianist,

Thank you for your informative post on how to say goodbye. I knew only two ways (since I don't have Russian letters on my keyboard I'll have to list them in English) 1. paka  2. dosvedanye

I never knew that there were different sayings and friendlier ways to bid your goodbyes, I guess I have a lot to learn!

Spaceeba! (thank you!)


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  • 10 months later...

There are 3 other phrases I've used as well. 

До стречи! - See you! 

До скорый стречи! - See you soon! 

Увидимся! - See you! (the context is more like "We'll see each other again!")


"До скорый стречи" will always remind me a song by a Russian band called Zveri (Звери).  

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