If you’re a student of Russian, let’s first acknowledge what it took for you to even get past “hello.” The formal greeting — Здравствуйте — is one of the words non-native speakers struggle the most to pronounce! Pat yourself on the back, and then get ready to learn some situationally appropriate ways to say goodbye in Russian.
To start a conversation, you also have to know how to end a conversation. Not only will you feel considerably less awkward about the exchange you just had, but you’ll also establish a stronger connection with the implied notion that you’ll soon speak again.
Here are a few different ways to say goodbye in Russian, depending on how well you know the person and when you may expect to see them again. To hear how some of the words and phrases are pronounced by a native speaker, just click the “play” button next to each one.
How To Say Goodbye In Russian
The Formal Sign-off
When you’re talking to someone in a formal setting, or even when you’re simply talking to someone you don’t know very well, it’s best to default to the formal version of goodbye in Russian: До свидания!
Translated literally, this means something to the effect of “until the next meeting,” but it’s the closest corollary to the English “goodbye” and is often translated as such.
If you’re among friends or in a slightly more intimate setting, you have some options.
One of the most common and straightforward ways to simply say “bye!” is пока. Though it’s usually used as a goodbye in Russian, this word also has other meanings, including “for now” or “as long as.”
If you want to part with a touch of warmth (in theory, this would be with family or close friends), you could say целую, which means “I kiss you” (or, effectively, “kisses”).
Another equally sunny way to part with someone is to throw in a Счастливо! (Schastlivo!). It literally means “happily” but has the connotation of “good luck” or “take care” when used as a goodbye. For good measure, you could add in a Всего хорошего! (Vsevo horoshevo!), meaning “All the best!”
If you’d rather communicate that you’ll see someone…soon, or in another indeterminate length of time, you’ve got some options:
- До завтра! — See you tomorrow!
- Увидимся! — See you around!
- До скорого! — See you soon!
- До встречи! (Do vstrechi!) — See you!
Some Specific Goodbyes
Now that you’ve got a basic sense of how to say goodbye in Russian, here are a couple examples of how to work these into more complex sentences.
- Пока! Передавай жене привет! — Bye! Say hi to your wife for me.
- Пока, увидимся! — Bye, see you later!
- Ну хорошо, увидимся вечером! — All right, see you this evening!
- спокойной ночи — goodnight