March 7, 2008

How to say goodbye in Japanese

Ghetto Grammar supplement #95
How to say good bye in Japanese

There are many different ways to say goodbye in English. Same in Japanese, there are many different ways of saying sayo^nara. It’s strange because of all the expressions used by the Japanese, which could be considered equivalent ways of the saying the same thing, phrase matches etc., for the understanding communication that I am leaving now and will not see you for a while. That is to say goodbye;

I would do a literal translation of the phrase and compare with modern day terminology to determine a more equivalent terminology to express some same meaningful word. Sayo^nara has meaning of So long for a long time, or farewell for a couple of seasons. Sayo^nara is the ancient form and way of saying the so yu form of the a yu ko yu etc. Because A sayo^ de gozaimasu would be the super equivalent of the honorific form of the same phrase as above the In the time I have spent in Japan only on rare occasions(and I mean super rare occasions, {besides Karaoke of course}), have I ever heard the traditional term for goodbye, ‘sayonara’.
Sayo^nara differs from English’s goodbye in a direct translation also because sayo^ is to say “so” versus the English’s term good;The conditional subject marker “nara” has not changed its shape since around 600 A.D. (western reckoning). For nara is still nara of modern Japanese and still functions the same way. However the sayo^ part is much older and more traditionally Japnanese.

The words sayonara and goodbye both have a y in them. That in itself could be a coincidence but I think it proves that at some point in our languages past, but they have similiarities too.
I also remember being a kid in an American elementary school growing up in Southern California and pretending to be asian, I would pull my eyes to make them appear slanted and having the look of an oriental person I would go around saying A so, A so, A so. It wasn’t until I actually visited Japan, that I realized that somehow the phrase or nuance given from the words A so is actually meaningful in the same way as it is mocked. When the Japanese inquire, “A so …?”, they are implying , “Is that right?”, or, “. . . is that so?” It is a short abbreviated way of saying the complete phrase of , “A so^ desu ka? Desu ka is, as you know, is the question mark phrase ending form of the verb, to be, and so^ is of the form –(a yu) , (ko^ yu) , and (so^ yu ), where a – placement over there, ko^ is placement over here and so^ yu is placement there.
So the main point I’m trying to make is, and hopefully show some real life examples of how we say goodbye in both languages.
In English we might say something like the following to signal to another that we are leaving for now and may or may not see them at some point in the future:
Ways of saying – goodbye-- in English
Later dude!
See ya (spoken best when chewed, as in bubble-gum)
See ya later @lligator!
Late my Peeps!
Peace Out!!
Adios - We even say adios taken from the Spanish
If we were elegant we might periventure say
Adieux (…to you and you and you) with a French nasality but we are talking English here, and modern tech English at that. . .
So Long…
Farewell, old chap…
Hit the road! Jack! And don’t you come back no more no more no more
Till next time (…America) gross – Maury P.
Til’ we meet again…
Bye now…
B’ Bye because goodbye takes too long to say anyway.
You say Hello but I say b’bye
Later on Holmes depending on whether you are of latin or Spanish, Conquistadores, Azteca, or Mayan descent
I’m Outta’ here
I’m Splittin’
Tell ‘so and so’ I said hi!
If you all will excuse me, I surely must get going.
Thanks for your hospitality.
Come along now.
See you on the flipside…
Catcha tomorrow
Til den –
I Ketchup wif y’all later ,or, (on the flipside.)
Get outta here
Move it or lose it.
Good Bye

Instead of going back through this great list of ways to say good-bye in English I’m just going to throw out at you instead some similar types of ways to say sayo^nara In Japanese, because languages don’t grow from the alphabet or the symbolic transference of meaning to ink, or written forms of communication; but that it comes from the environment in which the communicators find themselves. So although very similar type ways of saying goodbye exist, they are only rough estimations, playing themselves like a tennis ball bounced from racket to racket, volleying to and fro acting as a feedback mechanism upon which colloquial speech thrives in real time with real meanings backing these distinct phrases and the words which compose them in both languages.

Ways of saying Sayo^nara in Japanese
1. ja ne!
2. ja mata!
3. ja mata ne!
4. Sore Dewa!
5. Go- Chiso Sama Deshita
6. Dewa Mata!
7. Kashikomarimashita
8. Hai Wakarimashita
9. Shitsurei Shimasu
10. Mata O- tanoshimi ni shite imasu
11. Gokuro^ sama deshita
12. Shitsurei Itashimasu
13. Ja mata kondo!
14. Ii desu
15. Kekko Desu
16. Sayo na
17. Kondo ne!
18. Sono toki ni ne!
19. H~~~~ai
20. Wakatta
21. Bow – lowering of the head and exiting
22. Osu
23. Heikai itashimasu
24. Sore ja!
25. Goo buy
26. Dete ike!
27. ii kara
28. ki o tsukete ne
29. buy buy as in you say hello but I say ba bye

And that’s a rap, stay tuned for more crazy linguistics, as the world of languages shrinks around us merging as it may into one eventual world tongue.
As always,
Ganbatte Ne! Do your Best
Makurasuki Sensei
Brett McCluskey