Discover the many ways to say goodbye in German, including formal and informal phrases, cultural customs, and when to use each expression.
If you’ve ever been to Germany or interacted with a German speaker, you might have heard the phrase “Auf Wiedersehen” as a way of saying goodbye. In this blog, we’ll explore the origins and meanings of this common German phrase and provide some tips for using it appropriately in different contexts.
Auf Wiedersehen: How to say goodbye
Auf Wiedersehen is a common German phrase that is used to say “goodbye” or “see you again”. The literal translation of the phrase is “until we see each other again” or “until next time”. It is a polite and friendly way of bidding farewell and is commonly used in both formal and informal settings.
When using “Auf Wiedersehen”, it is important to keep in mind the context and the relationship with the person you are saying goodbye to. Here are some tips on how to say goodbye using “Auf Wiedersehen” appropriately:
- Use “Auf Wiedersehen” in formal settings such as business meetings or when saying goodbye to someone in a professional context.
- Use “Auf Wiedersehen” in informal settings as a polite and friendly way of saying goodbye to friends, family, or acquaintances.
- Use “Auf Wiedersehen” with people you know or have interacted with before. It is not the most appropriate phrase to use when saying goodbye to a stranger.
- Use “Auf Wiedersehen” as part of a longer farewell to convey warmth and sincerity. For example, you could say “Auf Wiedersehen, bis zum nächsten Mal” (Goodbye, until next time).
- Use alternative phrases such as “Tschüss” (bye), “Bis später” (see you later), or “Ciao” (goodbye) in more casual settings or with people you are familiar with.
In addition to using the appropriate phrase, it is also important to consider non-verbal cues such as eye contact, tone of voice, and body language when saying goodbye. Maintaining eye contact and a friendly tone can help convey sincerity and warmth, while avoiding eye contact or a curt tone may come across as rude or insincere.
Goodbye in German, the word broken down
- “Auf” means “until” or “to” in English. It is a preposition that indicates a destination or point in time.
- “Wieder” means “again” or “anew”. It is an adverb that expresses repetition or renewal.
- “Sehen” means “to see”. It is a verb that refers to the act of perceiving something visually.
So, when we put these words together, “Auf Wiedersehen” means “until we see each other again” or “until next time”. It is a friendly and polite way of bidding farewell, implying that the speaker hopes to meet the other person again in the future.
It is worth noting that there are other ways to say goodbye in German, such as “Tschüss”, “Ciao”, or “Bis bald”, which have different nuances and levels of formality. However, “Auf Wiedersehen” is one of the most commonly used and recognized phrases for saying goodbye in German.
Use auf wiedersehen in place of any of these phrases
Funny forms to say farewell
- “Hau rein” – This translates to “hit it”, but it’s a colloquial way of saying goodbye, similar to “take care” or “see you later”. It’s a casual and fun way to say farewell to friends.
- “Mach’s gut und meld dich, wenn du Geld brauchst” – This translates to “Take care and let me know if you need money”. It’s a humorous way of saying goodbye that implies you are willing to lend a hand if needed.
- “Mach’s gut und lass dich nicht unterkriegen” – This translates to “Take care and don’t let them get you down”. It’s a supportive and upbeat way of saying goodbye that can be used to encourage someone who is going through a tough time.
- “Bis zur nächsten Mondfinsternis” – This translates to “Until the next lunar eclipse”. It’s a whimsical and unusual way of saying goodbye that implies a long time apart.
- “Tschüssikowski” – This is a playful and silly variation of “Tschüss”, a common way to say goodbye in German. It’s a fun way to say farewell to friends or colleagues.
Formal forms of “see you later”
If you need to say goodbye in a formal or professional setting, there are several ways to express the sentiment of “see you later” in German. Here are a few examples:
- “Auf Wiedersehen” – This is one of the most common and formal ways to say goodbye in German. It means “until we see each other again” and can be used in almost any context.
- “Bis später” – This translates to “until later” and is a more casual but still polite way to say goodbye in a professional setting. It can be used to indicate that you will see the person again later that day or at a later date.
- “Bis zum nächsten Mal” – This translates to “until next time” and is a formal but friendly way to say goodbye. It implies that you will see the person again in the future without specifying when.
- “Bis bald” – This translates to “see you soon” and is a polite and positive way to say goodbye in a professional context. It can be used to express the hope that you will see the person again soon.
Informal forms of goodbye
When saying goodbye in an informal setting such as with friends or family, there are many ways to express the sentiment of farewell in German. Here are some common informal forms of goodbye:
- “Tschüss” – This is the most common informal way to say goodbye in German. It’s similar to “bye” in English and is appropriate for use with friends, family, and acquaintances.
- “Bis später” – This translates to “see you later” and is a casual but friendly way to say goodbye to someone you expect to see again soon.
- “Mach’s gut” – This translates to “take care” and is a warm and caring way to say goodbye to someone you care about. It’s appropriate for use with friends and family members.
- “Bis zum nächsten Mal” – This translates to “until next time” and is a casual and optimistic way to say goodbye. It’s appropriate for use with friends and acquaintances.
Remember that the level of formality in the German language can vary depending on the context, the relationship between the speakers, and the setting. When saying goodbye in an informal setting, it’s usually best to use a casual and friendly tone and to choose a phrase that fits the context and your relationship with the person you’re saying goodbye to.
Some German music and movies titled Auf wiedersehen
Several German movies and songs have been titled “Auf Wiedersehen”. Here are a few examples:
- Auf Wiedersehen, Kinder – This is a French-German war drama film directed by Louis Malle. The film tells the story of a Catholic boarding school in Nazi-occupied France and the relationship between a young French boy and a new student who is revealed to be Jewish. The film was released in 1987 and was nominated for two Academy Awards.
- Auf Wiedersehen, Pet – This is a British comedy-drama television series that follows the adventures of seven British construction workers who travel to Germany to work on a building site. The show was first broadcast in 1983 and has since become a cult classic.
- Auf Wiedersehen – This is a German pop song by Udo Jürgens. The song was released in 1982 and became a hit in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. It’s a romantic ballad about saying goodbye to a lover and has since become a popular karaoke song.
- Auf Wiedersehen, mein Liebling – This is a German romantic comedy film directed by Johannes Meyer. The film was released in 1932 and stars Lilian Harvey and Willy Fritsch. The story follows a young couple who fall in love but are separated when the man is sent to Africa on a business trip.
These are just a few examples of German movies and songs titled “Auf Wiedersehen”. Each one explores different themes and genres, from war dramas to romantic comedies, but all share the common thread of saying goodbye.
Auf wiedersehen: Until next time
The phrase “Auf Wiedersehen” is made up of three German words: “auf”, which means “until”, “wieder”, which means “again”, and “sehen”, which means “to see”. So when translated to English, “Auf Wiedersehen” means “until we see each other again”. This phrase is commonly used as a polite and friendly way to say goodbye, especially in formal settings such as business meetings or official events.
The phrase “Until next time” is also commonly used to indicate that you will see someone again in the future. This phrase is less formal than “Auf Wiedersehen” and can be used in both formal and informal settings. It can be used in many different contexts, such as saying goodbye to a friend or family member after a visit, or at the end of a meeting or conversation.
Therefore, “Auf Wiedersehen: Until next time” can be used to express the sentiment of saying goodbye with the understanding that the speaker and the person they are speaking to will see each other again in the future. It is a friendly and polite way to end a conversation or meeting while acknowledging the possibility of seeing each other again.