There are several ways to say goodbye in Russian. First, the most common and usual way to say goodbye in Russian:
Google Translate got this one absolutely right! (Google, however, did get “hello” in Russian (mostly) wrong!).
To say goodbye in Russian, you say “до свидания” (Pronounced “dasvidaniya”).
Now listen to the pronunciation of goodbye in Russian:
If this is your first day in Russia, and it seems difficult, I will teach you a little secret my friends and I used in the 90’s during my first trip to Russia. FULL DISCLOSURE: This is incredibly juvenile. We would say “dogspeedonya”. Our Russian friends would look mildly confused, but catch the meaning and reply “до свидания”!.
As with most things Russian, you will be loved and approved as a foreigner if you learn just this one phrase (“dasvidaniya”), but you will be a champion if you learn a few more situational phrases:
- The informal goodbye: Пока (pronounced “pahkah”) is the simplest departure phrase. It is to be used with friends when you will see them again in a reasonably short period of time. The most obvious English parallel phrase would be “see you later”. If you are in expectionally mirthful spirits you can also do a bubbly “Пока, пока!”. It’s sort of like the English “bye-bye!”.
- The forever goodbye: Прощай (pronounced “proshchai”) is useful at funerals or how you say goodbye to your Russian girlfriend if you are having an exceptionally dramatic breakup. I suppose if your Russian friend was immenently embarking on a round-the-world trip on a rowboat, this departure phrase could also be useful. Otherwise, be careful of this one. 🙂
- The courteous goodbye: “Всего доброго!” (pronounced “vsevo dobrovo”) or “всего хорошего!” (pronounced “vsevo horoshevo”). This is what I use to say goodbye to taxi drivers when getting out of the car. Seems to be the Russian goodbye of choice after a friendly chat with someone you aren’t closely acquainted with. Also, often goes like this: Всего доброго! До свидания!”.
There are more ways to say goodbye in Russian, “До встречи”, for example.
What other ways do you know to say goodbye in Russian, and in which situations should they be used, or not used? Comment below!