11 Examples of “Goodbye in Russian” that You Should Know


Here, I’m showing the “life-saving” farewell phrases, prevent you from making a very stupid “goodbye” mistake, provided by Google Translate, and teach you to sound naturally with the words that I use daily.

Russian Goodbye

In Russian In English Audio Pronunciation Where to use
Пока Bye
Pa—kа́ Informal
До свидания Goodbye
Da svi—dа́—nja Formal

Having learned these two phrases, you can be sure to complete a meeting with a suitable farewell.

Use Пока in all informal situations: with a new online friend, in a bar, or with classmates at the University.

До свидания, by contrast, is a more formal expression, that you can use at work, or with people with who you want to be more official and polite: with your boss, with a teacher, in a bank and so on.

By the way, you can watch the video.

Other Types of Saying “Bye” in Russian

Saying goodbye in a different way may be cool, and make people remember you or evoke positive emotions.

Which one to add to the arsenal? Having surfed through the websites, I noticed that they’re guided by the rule: “the more, the better.” I decided to follow another way, and never to include the ones that are taken from old Russian movies.

See You Soon in Russian

Goodbye in Russian

So, now I’m going to show you how to be creative, but not to say nonsense on my example.

Here’re the phrases I frequently use in informal communication.

In Russian In English Audio Pronunciation Where to use
Счастливо Bye
Schis—lí—va Informal
Удачи Good luck
U—dа́—chi Formal/Informal
До скорого See you soon
Dа skо́—ra—va Formal/Informal
До завтра See you tomorrow
Da zа́f—tra Formal/Informal
До вечера See you in the evening
Da vе́—chi—ra Formal/Informal

First, I always add Счастливо to the usual Пока. This means that I wish happiness to the person I talk to.

Another little word that I believe makes an ordinary “bye” warmer is Удачи. With this word, I wish a person I talk to good luck.

If you are appointed another meeting with someone you talk to, you can say До скорого, which means “see you soon.” You can be more precise by saying До завтра (See you tomorrow) or До вечера (see you in the evening).

How to Say “Bye” in Russian When You Apart for Long

Goodbye in Russian

In the table below, I summed up long parting phrases

In Russian In English Audio Pronunciation Where to use
Береги себя Take care
Bi—ri—gí si—bjа́ Informal
Передавай привет… Say hello to
Pi—ri—da—vа́j
pri—vе́t
Informal
Я буду скучать I’ll miss you
Ja bú—du sku—chát’ Informal
Был(а) рад(а) познакомиться It was nice to meet you
Bi—l(а́) rа́—d(a) paz—na—kо́—mi—tsa Formal/Informal

Береги себя means “take care” and is often used when your friend is going to have a long way home.

It’s polite if you remember people who’re important as friends, and who you know. That’s why before saying “Goodbye” I often add Передавай привет which means “give my regards to someone” or “extend my regards to someone.”

Here, I need to make a little grammar remark. After the phrase Передавай привет, we use a noun in the Dative case.

  • For example: Передавай привет сестре́ (the word “сестра́” is in Dative).

To the people I love, I say Я буду скучать – I’ll miss you.

Farewells in formal situations are much easier. When I’m saying Goodbye to someone new, except for the usual До свидания, I add Была рада познакомиться which means It was nice to meet you. A grammar note. If you’re male, don’t forget to change Была to Был.

Why is Google Translate Wrong?

Be careful! Google translate says that Goodbye is Прощай in Russian. Yes, it means Goodbye, but Прощай is a very dramatic way to say farewell to someone in Russian.

You can say this if you’re going to war and may probably never see the person you talk to again. Or, for instance, at the moment when Jack goes under the water after Titanic’s break, Rose could say “Прощай”.

So, if you say this Goodbye to your new online friend, then that would look very weird. Or if your University tutor hears “Прощай” from you, he might think that he’ll never see you on his lectures again.

What Gestures Add to the Russian Bye?

Russian for Goodbye

Imagine, you’re in a company of new friends. It’s time to go home. You know, that you’re supposed to say Пока́, but people shake hands as if they’ve just met; kiss on the cheeks, or just wave. What are you supposed to do? Maybe to kiss someone too? How many times then? Should you kiss a male friend too? No?

There’re several things you should know about the gestures Russians make when the meeting in a company of friends is over.

  • Males shake hands and don’t generally hung or kiss each other
  • Ladies kiss cheeks and hug
  • You can hug and kiss your female friend as well if it’s a close one
  • Wave to people you didn’t manage to get close to.

With formal meetings, everything is much easier. People shake hands with each other. It’s nothing wrong if you farewell a lady with a handshake too.

Conclusion

Now, you know the basic formal and informal farewells, and won’t let Google Translate let you down.

At a first step, Пока and До свидания will come on the aid in every situation. But when you begin to talk to native speakers more and more often, you can’t do without more diverse vocabulary that I described above.

And, of course, I hope that the advice about the farewell gestures will make you more confident at a party or business meeting.

What farewell do you typically use when you talk to the native speakers? Share in comments below.

Helpful links

As usual, I have additional material that you can look into:

  1. Here’s an article on all the greetings and farewells, on a very nice lingQ blog
  2. Another good explanation of “hello” and “goodbye” phrases in Russian.
  3. On the following website, you can listen to the greetings recorded by a different speakers.

Anastasia Korol

Anastasia Korol is an enthusiastic Russian language tutor. She gives effective, goal-oriented lessons to students all over the world. Thousands of people have already followed her Instagram.

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