Everyone always talks about the first impression, but the last impression is nearly as important. Everyone is familiar with not knowing the right words to leave a meeting. And that’s exactly what we want to avoid in Russia by learning the right words to say goodbye in Russian.
The Russian language is a highly formal language. That means that you should be polite to people you don’t know, or that have a ‘higher status’ in society or a specific situation.
For example your granddad, a police officer, or the prime minister.
That’s why I’ve grouped the different ways of saying goodbye in Russian in 3 different categories:
- Formal ways to say goodbye in Russian
- Informal words to say goodbye in Russian
- Situation-specific phrases to say goodbye in Russian
Before we get started: you DO NOT need to know how to say all these formal and informal phrases. The most important thing is to be able to say 1 common formal, and 1 common informal phrase. The rest is just important to recognize when you’re having a conversation with Russian native speakers.
16 ways how to say Goodbye in Russian
Formal words and phrases to say goodbye in Russian
The following phrases are good departing words. Say these to people that you need to be polite to.
Goodbye in Russian – до свидания (do svidanya)
This is the most common and popular way to say goodbye in Russian.
До свидания literally means: till date.
You can say this basically in any situation. Both formal and informal. So if you would only learn 1 phrase in this entire article, it should be до свидания.
If you’re familiar with the pronunciation of words in the Russian language, you may know that an unstressed о sounds like an а. That is also the case with this word. The correct pronunciation is: da svidanya. You can connect the words together.
Have a good day in Russian – хорошего дня (khoroshevo dnya)
If you want to wish someone a nice day when departing, you can tell them хорошего дня. It literally means ‘of a good day’. In Russian the words for ‘good day’ are хороший день, but if you wish it to someone it changes to the genitive case.
You can say this in most situations, as it’s a formal way of saying goodbye. Though it’s a more formal than informal way. And you’re most likely to hear it from people you don’t know well. It’s okay to say this as a foreigner.
All the best in Russian – всего хорошего (vsevo khoroshevo)
This is another way to wish someone well. всего хорошего literally means ‘of all the good’, and again is in the genitive case. This is a little less common than хорошего дня, as it’s a stronger way of wishing someone well. It’s also more polite, and I wouldn’t recommend saying it as a foreigner. As it can be difficult to get the correct level of politeness.
Till next time in Russian – до встречи (do vstrechi)
This is again a phrase that can be used in both formal and informal situations. до встречи literally means ’till meeting’. And you say it when you expect to see the other person again. This is unlike до свидания, that you can also say if you likely will never see someone again. For example in a tourist shop on Arbat Street in Moscow. до встречи should be reserved with people you know better, and is a good way of ending a business conversation for example.
Informal ways to say bye in Russian
If you want to learn Russian, you should be able to recognize the following ways of saying goodbye. Again, don’t try to learn all of them right away. But rather make sure you know the first one. And maybe a couple situational goodbyes.
Each of these is a good way of saying goodbye to friends and family.
Bye in Russian – пока (poka)
This is the most common way to say goodbye to friends in the Russian language. It’s a very simple word. Because the first о is unstressed, the pronunciation of пока is more like: paka. It’s a quick word that you absolutely should know as a foreigner, and no native speakers will look weirdly at you for saying it.
Bye bye in Russian – пока пока (poka poka)
Just like in English, you can say this word twice. This slightly makes it more informal. So if you’re unsure, try only saying пока пока to friends and family. The pronunciation is again like: paka paka.
See you soon in Russian – до скорого (do skorovo)
If you know you’re going to see someone soon, you can tell them до скорого. It literally means ’till soon’. But it can be better translated as ‘see you soon’ or ‘see you later’. до скорого leans more on the informal side of farewells, but can also be used in more formal situations, where you know the other person.
Good luck in Russian – удачи (udachi)
If you’re saying goodbye and also want to wish someone good luck, you tell them ‘удачи’. This literally means ‘of luck’. It’s a great word to tell someone that’s going to an exam, or a difficult meeting at work. You can also say this to be polite, but since it’s quite a personal thing, often you only say it to friends, family and close colleagues.
See you tomorrow in Russian – до завтра (do zavtra)
If you’re sure you’re going to see someone again tomorrow, you can tell them до завтра. It literally means ’till tomorrow’. This can also be used in polite situations, but since it’s a quite short way to say goodbye, it’s better used for informal situations.
It’s time in Russian – мне пора (mnye pora)
If you’re meeting with a group of friends, but you know you need to leave at a specific time, you can tell them мне пора. It literally means ‘to me it’s time’.
See you later in Russian- увидимся (uvidimcya)
A simple way to say ‘see you later’ or ‘ see you soon’ is the word увидимся. It literally means ‘we will see each other’. you can say it when you’re saying goodbye to a friend and want to see them again. увидимся is also common, so it’s a good word to know. You can also add the word for ‘tomorrow’ to turn this phrase into ‘see you tomorrow’: увидимся завтра.
Take care in Russian – давай (davai)
давай is a magic expression in Russian. That’s because it has a hundred different meanings, and that depends very much on the context. As a goodbye, the meaning of давай is like: ‘take care’ or ‘ok’. It’s a bit more difficult to use it correctly, as it implies agreeing with what the other person just said and then leaving. First, wait till you are an intermediate speaker and have heard many Russians say this, so you have a better overview of how to say it.
Specific occasions to say goodbye in Russian
The following vocabulary are farewells f0r specific situations.
Good night in Russian – спокойной ночи (spokoinoi nochi)
If you want to wish someone good night, you tell them спокойной ночи. It means ‘calm night’.
Good journey in Russian – счастливого пути (shastlivovo puti)
When someone is leaving on a journey, you can wish them a good journey. This comes from the word for ‘happy’: счастливо and way: путь.
Farewell in Russian – прощай (proshai)
If you’re sure you will not see the other person for a very long time, this is the correct way to say it. It is a very strong word, so be sure to only say it when the occasion asks for it. It has the same meaning as ‘farewell’ in English. And you also wouldn’t say that when you’re leaving a meeting with a friend, and you know you’re going to see them the next week. Using прощай, would imply you’re leaving for a long time and would make your friend worry.
Good flight in Russian – хорошо долететь (khorosho doletet’)
If someone is having a flight, then you can wish them a good flight. There are a couple of different ways of saying this, but I like this one. It means ‘to arrive by plane well’.
What to do next?
If you’re learning Russian, I recommend you pick 1 formal and 1 informal way of saying goodbye. Since these expressions are all so common, you will hear them plenty of times when having conversations with Russians.
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