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.
Resources for further reading:
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.
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See you next time
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: 掰. If you take a closer look, this character can actually be divided into three vertical parts: 手 + 分 + 手. 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.
See you soon
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......
Have a lovely day
Take care (formal)
Take care yourself
So long, farewell
Goodbye forever (formal, to a deceased one)
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