Start with the basics when learning a new language such as German. Learn how to greet people and ask for directions. Knowing how to say goodbye will help you in most situations. Know the difference between formal and casual ways of saying goodbye, and use them in the right context for the region. Understand the meaning of each style of goodbye to build confidence in your method of parting.
- Skill level:
To say goodbye formally in German, say "auf Wiedersehen." This literally means "until we see each other again." You can use this when you end a meeting with somebody. How do you say it? It sounds like "owf veeder zehn" in English.
At the end of a telephone call, say "Auf Wiederhören," which sounds in English like "owf veeder huhren." This literally translates into "Until we hear from one another again." This is contextually correct since you cannot really see someone again on the phone.
At the end of a day either in person or on the telephone, say "Gute Nacht." This sounds like "goo teh nahkt" in English.
To say goodbye casually, try "tschuess," which sounds sort of like "juice" but closer to "chooce." It is a derivative from other language alternatives such as "adieu" in French, and its literal translation is "God be with you."
Say "Bis Spaeter" (which sounds like "bis spay tah") to say, "See you later" in German. There are several ways to say goodbye in a more casual context. You can also say "bis dann" or "bis bald" (until soon). Try "bis Morgen" when you will see each other the next day.
Tips and warnings
- "Ciao" as they say in Italy also is an acceptable version of a casual goodbye in German.
- "Servus" typically is used only in Bavaria and Austria to either greet or part, depending on context.
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