How to Say Goodbye in Chinese

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Learn how to politely end a conversation in Chinese by knowing the different ways to say "goodbye." The most common way to say "bye" is 再見, written in the traditional form, or 再见, written in simplified form. The pinyin pronunciation is "zài jiàn." 


In a previous lesson, we learned about Mandarin Chinese tones. Remember to always learn new vocabulary with its proper tones. Let's practice by saying "goodbye" in Mandarin Chinese. Audio links are marked with ►.

Each of the two characters of 再見 / 再见 (zài jiàn) are pronounced in the fourth (falling) tone. Listen to the sound file and try to repeat the tones exactly as you hear them. ► 

Character Explanation

再見 / 再见 (zài jiàn) is composed of two characters. It is possible to examine the meaning of each individual character, but it is important to remember that 再見 / 再见 (zài jiàn) is used together to form a complete phrase. Chinese characters have individual meanings, but the majority of Mandarin vocabulary is made of compounds of two or more characters.

For interest's sake, here are the translations of the two characters 再 and 見 / 见.

再 (zài): again; once more; next in sequence; another

見 / 见 (jiàn): to see; to meet; to appear (to be something); to interview

So a possible translation of 再見 / 再见 (zài jiàn) is "again to meet". But, again, don't think of 再見 / 再见 (zài jiàn) as two words—it is one phrase that means "goodbye".

Other Ways To Say Goodbye

Here are some other common ways to say "goodbye". Listen to the sound files and try to reproduce the tones as closely as possible.

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Su, Qiu Gui. "How to Say Goodbye in Chinese." ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2020, Su, Qiu Gui. (2020, August 28). How to Say Goodbye in Chinese. Retrieved from Su, Qiu Gui. "How to Say Goodbye in Chinese." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 22, 2023).