Meaning of Sayonara + 50 Ways to say goodbye in Japanese


Golden Week Week has started! An event full of free Japanese classes! Click here and watch now!

Many imagine that the main way to say goodbye in Japanese is sayonara. This is a big mistake! The Japanese do not use sayonara daily! In this article we will understand the true meaning of sayonara and another 50 ways to say goodbye in Japanese.

Sayounara [さよなら] literally means goodbye, but we only usually say goodbye when we are going to go a long time without seeing the person. So it's not common for Japanese people to be saying sayounara everywhere when you say goodbye.

Suppose you are at work and say sayounara to the boss, he'll think you're quitting your job. There are thousands of ways that the Japanese use to say goodbye properly, and in this article we will examine them.

Before we go to study in detail the meaning of sayonara and its origin. If you want to skip to ways to say goodbye in Japanese, let's leave a summary of the article below:

Sayonara x Sayounara

Before examining the profound meaning and use of sayonara, we must answer a question that can confuse Japanese students. What is the right way to write? Sayonara [さよなら] or Sayounara [さようなら]?

If you have been studying Japanese for a long time you must be thinking that the correct way is sayounara [さようなら] and Brazilians write sayonara cheated because of a type of romanization that represents the hiragana “OR”[おう], which is a O accented [sayōnara].

Significado de sayonara + 50 formas de se despedir em japonês

This is mainly because in words with “OR“[おう] the sound of“U”[う] is often hidden. But in Japanese itself the two forms, both sayonara and sayounara, are correct!

These two words are used in the Japanese language, both mean goodbye, but have small differences. In the next topic we will explain the origin and meaning of sayonara, so you will be able to understand the differences between sayounara and sayonara.

The meaning of the word Sayonara

The word sayonara [さよなら] originated from the expression Sayounaraba [左様ならば] where:

  • Sayou [左様] means: "thus"; "therefore"; “Everything was discussed” and “done”;
  • Naraba [ならば] - Assistant who gives the idea of “then; this being the case; if circumstances allow; if; in case; if it is ”and things like that;
  • Sayounara [左様なら] - Well, if that's the case ... If things are going to be this way ...

So we came to the conclusion that sayounara [左様なら] is the correct way to write. But nowadays things have changed and the Japanese usually write sayonara [さよなら], which can even be used as a suru verb and noun.

Significado de sayonara + 50 formas de se despedir em japonês

Although some claim that sayonara [さよなら] means only goodbye, it can indicate a farewell and many other things in the Japanese language. See a few words below to understand their meanings:

  • Sayonara Paatii [さよならパーティー] - Farewell Party;
  • Seishun ni sayonara suru [青春にさよならする] - Say goodbye to youth;

The first sentence shows that sayonara can be put to express goodbye or the end of something. While the following sentence shows that sayonara can be used as a verb suru.

Although some imagine that sayonara it is rare to be used, students from elementary school are told to use these words to say goodbye to the teacher. In many regions sayonara it is still used without a long period of absence.

Jyaa ne and Mata ne - See you in Japanese

The main and best way to say goodbye in Japanese is the words jyaa ne [じゃね], kill ne [またね] and its numerous variations. These words are equivalent to the traditional bye, flw or even Portuguese.

Below are a large number of variations derived from Woods and jyaa that will increase your vocabulary:

  • Jyaa [じゃあ] - See you;
  • Jyaa ne [じゃあね] - See you later;
  • Mata ne [またね] - See you later;
  • Jyaa kills [じゃあまた] - See you later;
  • Kills act of [また後で] - See you later;
  • Mata kondo [また今度] - See you soon;
  • Mata ashita [また明日] - See you tomorrow;
  • Mata raishu [また来週] - See you next week;
  • Mata Raigetsu [また来月] - Until next month;
  • Mara rainen [また来年] - See you next year;
  • Dewa kills [ではまた] - See you later;
  • Mata aou [また会おう] - Until we meet again;
  • Sorejyaa, kill ne [それじゃ] - See you later!
Significado de sayonara + 50 formas de se despedir em japonês

The ways of saying goodbye listed above are somewhat informal. Notice how there are many variations of goodbye in Japanese. The word jyaa [じゃあ] literally means then, so, then; While Woods [また] means again, beyond that and yet;

Young people often use this way of saying goodbye in Japanese. These are undoubtedly the best ways, but there are many others that we will see, some specific to each occasion. You can also create your own variations with the words we saw in the list above.

Ittekimasu and itterashai - saying goodbye when leaving home

When you're out of your house you can tell ittekimasu [行ってきます], when someone from your home will go out and say ittekimasu, you can say itterashai [行ってらしゃい].

Ittekimasu and Itterashai are used inside the home when someone is absent or returns, it's like saying: I'm leaving, and the person in the house replies: Go in peace / Go your way well, go carefully, come back soon ...

Significado de sayonara + 50 formas de se despedir em japonês

Just as we say “take care” in Portuguese as a way of saying goodbye, you can also say ki wo tsukete [気をつけて] in Japanese. You can say this to someone who is leaving your home, or going somewhere not far away.

It has nothing to do with the article, but it’s worth remembering that when you get home you say tadaima [ただいま] which means I arrived, while the person in the house says okaeri [おかえり] which means welcome.


In Japan many people work overtime at work, so when you are leaving work, some will always continue to work. Politely you should say goodbye saying: Osaki ni shitsurei shimasu [お先に失礼します] which means “sorry for having to leave first / earlier”.

You can also say for short osakini [お先に] to your colleagues, but you cannot use this informality with your boss. You can also use the shitsurei shimasu [失礼します] which is also equivalent to one with a license.

Significado de sayonara + 50 formas de se despedir em japonês

When someone is leaving work and says the saki ni shitsureishimasu [お先に失礼します], you can answer otsukaresama deshita [お疲れ様でした] that translating would look something like “Thank you for your hard work.”

Another similar phrase that you can hear is: gokurousama deshita [御苦労様でした]. Its meaning is similar to otsukaresama deshita, but it is said for people of a lower level. For example, a boss can say this to his team.

Other ways to say goodbye in Japanese

Genki's [元気で] - If someone is going on a long trip or is going to move to a different place and you won't be seeing them for a long time, you can tell genki of [元気で] which is like saying “take care of yourself“,”be alright”Or” all the best.”

Odaiji ni [お大事に] - If you are saying goodbye to someone sick, you can say odaiji ni [お大事に], which means "be well soon".

Saraba da [さらばだ] - A very old expression (used by samurai) to say goodbye. Perhaps the closest equivalent to “adios!” Therefore, it cannot be used formally, just with your close or playful friends.

Significado de sayonara + 50 formas de se despedir em japonês

Oyasuminasai [おやすみなさい] - It means good night, but it can be used to say goodbye to someone who is going to sleep or if you are leaving the person's house at night.

Gochisou sama deshita [ご馳走様でした] - It is used to thank food in restaurants, but it can be a farewell to a restaurant when paying the cashier for example.

  • Mata miruyo [また見るよ] - See you soon;
  • Kills oaishimashou [またお会いしましょう] - Let's meet again;
  • Mata renraku shimasu [また連絡します] - I will contact you;

Foreign ways to say goodbye in Japanese

One of the most popular and used foreign forms in Japan comes from the English Bye Bye. Many young Japanese people use the baibai [バイバイ] to say goodbye to friends and other people informally. Sometimes that expression may sound a little feminine.

The Japanese also know the traditional Spanish and Castilian additions. In Japanese this expression is written adiosu [アディオス]. There is also a variation of written French adieu [アデュー].

Ways to say goodbye in different dialects of Japan

To end the goodbyes in Japanese, let's share how to say sayonara, jyane or other words that we saw during the article in different regions of Japan.

Word in DialectProvinceStandard
Njichaabira [んじちゃーびら]
Soregii [そいぎー];Sagaそれじゃあ
Guburiisabira [ぐぶりーさびら]OkinawaFarewell
omyo-nichi [おみょーにち] 、Iwateまた明日
omyounudzu [おみょうぬづ]Iwateまた明日
irashiteoideasobase [いらしておいであそばせ]IshikawaFarewell
tab [あば] abaaba [あばあば]GifuFarewell
oina-yo [おいなーよ]
soiginta [そいぎんた]SagaFarewell
fan [あばね]NaganoFarewell
fan [あばな]NaganoFarewell
oshizukani [おしずかに]IshikawaFarewell
omicho [おみちょ]NiigataFarewell
omichiyo- [おみちよー]NiigataFarewell
omyonudzu [おみょうぬづ]IwateFarewell
omyo-nichi [おみょーにち]
ndakkyaane [んだっきゃあね]
seba [せば] heba [へば]AomoriFarewell

There are still thousands of other ways to say goodbye in Japanese, in addition to regional variations of sayonara, if you remember one you can leave it in the comments. I hope you enjoyed the article, if you did, share it with friends and leave your comments.