With every hello (or hallo), there inevitably comes a goodbye, so if you plan on initiating conversations in German anytime soon, it’s best to have some exit strategies in mind. Not that you’ll get very far without “hello,” but until you learn how to properly say goodbye in German, your only way out of that exchange will involve abruptly nodding and walking away — or, at best, making an awkward gaffe because you used an informal sign-off with your boss.
Here are some of the most common ways to say goodbye in German for the various kinds of situations you may find yourself in.
To hear how the words and phrases are pronounced, click the play button on the words highlighted in gray.
How To Say Goodbye In German
Keeping It Formal
Though so-called “informal” greetings are used more and more frequently in Germany, it always helps to know what to say if there’s ever a shadow of a doubt in your mind that you shouldn’t sound too casual. Your standard, formal version of goodbye in German is Auf Wiedersehen.
There are also a couple subtle variations of this you might encounter.
In the Low German dialect, which is mostly spoken in northern Germany and the eastern part of the Netherlands, you would simply say Weddersehn.
If you’re speaking to someone on the phone, you would use Auf Wiederhören. The verb hören means “to hear,” which is why it only really makes sense in the context of a phone call. Auf Wiederhören literally translates to “upon hearing again.”
A Few More Casual Options
The most common way to say goodbye in German is Tschüss! This is usually what you’ll hear used among friends and family, and more often than not, acquaintances too.
If you feel like signing off with a little cutesy flair, you can add a syllable and say Tschüssi.
In the Berlin dialect, it’s pronounced and spelled a bit differently: Schüss! It’s also not uncommon to just use the pan-European ciao, especially around Berlin.
There are also various versions of “see you!” you can use, depending on the context:
- Bis später. — See you later (if it’s likely you’ll see them again that day).
- Tschüss, bis bald! — Bye, see you soon!
- Tschüss, bis dann. — Bye, see you then (lit. “until then”).
- Bis zum nächsten Mal. — See you next time (if it’s someone you see regularly, like a coworker).
Some Specific Goodbyes
Now that you’ve got a basic sense of how to say goodbye in German, here are a couple alternative options and examples of how they might show up in a more organic exchange.
- Goodnight! — Gute Nacht!
- See you tomorrow! — Bis morgen!
- Thanks a lot. Goodbye. — Vielen Dank. Auf Wiedersehen.
- Goodbye and all the best! — Auf Wiedersehen und alles Gute!
- Bye, I’m going to work now. — Tschüss, ich gehe jetzt arbeiten.
- Have fun! — Viel Spaß!
- Have a nice day! — Einen schönen Tag noch!