Goodbye & See you. 「さようなら。」 Sayo(u)nara.

Today, I’m going to share “goodbye” in Japanese with you.  It would be expressed in many ways depending on situations, so I’ll pick several.

(1) Sa-yo(u)-na-ra (Good-bye)
This is a formal expression of “goodbye.” Again, we use this to acquaintances, teachers, friends’ parents, and senior people.
In Japan, showing respect to seniors is important, so even though students are one-year apart, younger people tend to change their attitudes and expressions to their senior schoolmates.
For example, when I was a first-grade at junior high school, I had to say “sa-yo-na-ra” to people who were one year older than me. That applies in a working environment, too. 
(※ In Japan, there’s no grade above 6th grade. Once you get into middle school, you will be 1st grade of the school.)
* School Grades in Japan *
Age 6 -12 : elementary school (6 years); 1st grade through 6th grade
Age 12-15: junior high school (3 years); 1st grade through 3rd grade
Age 15-18: high school (3 years); 1st grade through 3rd grade

(2) Bye-bye. (Bye.)
Among friends, I think, “bye-bye” is most used. Of course, it came from an English word, “goodbye” and then changed to “bye-bye.” I don’t know how long we’ve been using this word, but we don’t have an informal “goodbye” in Japanese. Instead, we use the “English word.”
The Japanese “bye-bye” might sound childish to you, but even adults sometimes say “bye-bye” in Japan.

(3) Ja-ne. (See you.)
Ja-ne” is also often used. I usually don’t use “bye-bye,” instead I use “ja-ne.” 
Ja” can be translated into English as “then” or “around” in this context. So, “ja-ne” means “see you”, “see you then,” or “see you around.”
(4) Mata (ne.) (See you again.)
The word “mata” means “again.”  So, “mata(ne)”is “see you again,” “see you later,” or “talk to you later.”
◆ (3) ja-ne, and (4) mata(ne)  have variations as follows:

・Ja! (See you around.)
・Ja-ne. (Females prefer this to Ja.)
・Ja-mata. (See you again. Talk to you later.)
Ja-matane. (Females prefer this to Ja-mata.)
・Matane. (See you again. Talk to you later.)
All of them work among men and women.  Either one is fine.  But these are informal ways of “goodbye,” so use them only among friends.
I personally recommend to use “Sa-yo-na-ra” in a formal situation and to say “ja-ne” or “ja-mata” to your friends. 
Now, I’ve got to go. I’m going to stop writing here.
Thanks for reading!

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