There’s a saying in Polish that means “Never greet someone across a threshold” — Nie witamy się przez próg. The same holds true for saying goodbye in Polish, too.
This has roots in ancient Slavic customs involving thresholds, which were believed to be ambivalent, liminal spaces between the safety of the home and the dangers of the outside world where evil spirits could lurk. In ancient times, the ashes of the dead were buried beneath the entrance to the house, and it was believed their souls became guardians who sussed out and purified guests.
Now that you’ve got the spiritual aspect of it down, you’ll probably want to learn the actual words and phrases you’ll need to say goodbye in Polish. Here are a few ways to sign off, together with audio voiced by native speakers to help you nail your pronunciation.
How To Say Goodbye In Polish
In Formal Situations
Generally speaking, if you’re in a situation where you would use a formal address when speaking to someone, then you would use the formal goodbye, which is: Do widzenia!
This literally translates to “Until seeing,” and it’s appropriate to use in most situations where you’d feel the need to be respectful and polite.
Note that what’s implied with do widzenia is that you’re not sure when you’ll see each other next, so it’s non-committal in tone. If you do think you’ll see each other again soon, you can use Do zobaczenia!, which means “See you then.”
You can also wish someone a good night by saying dobranoc. Dobranoc is a neutral expression that’s used in formal and informal situations.
Among your friends, peers, and people you’re close to, you can use slightly looser language.
One word that means both “hi” and “bye” is cześć. This is a word you’ll mostly hear young people use.
Another quick and cute shorthand for “Bye!” is Pa!. You can even double it up, as in Pa, pa!, like you would to say “Bye-bye!” in English.
Here are some other casual ways to say goodbye in Polish:
- Trzymaj się! — Take care!
- Cześć! Do jutra! — Bye! Until tomorrow!
- Na razie! — Until next time!/Until then!
- Miłego dnia! — Have a nice day!
Some Specific Goodbyes
Now that you’ve got a basic sense of how to say goodbye in Polish, here are a few examples of how to work these into more complex sentences.
- Cześć! Do zobaczenia później! — Bye! See you later!
- Do widzenia! Szczęśliwej podróży! — Goodbye! Have a good trip!
- Ty też! Pa! — You too! Bye!
- To do soboty, trzymaj się! — Until Saturday, take care!
- Niestety, musimy już iść. Dobranoc! — Unfortunately we already need to go. Goodnight!