How to Say Goodbye in Irish in 8 Different Ways; Exploring the Beautiful Gaelic Language

Goodbye in irish

Updated On: April 15, 2024 by   Sara LynchSara Lynch

Saying goodbye in Irish isn’t as simple as a one-word translation, there are many different variations of the phrase and depending on the context and who you are saying goodbye to, some goodbye phrases may suit better than others. 

There has been a societal movement to include more of the Irish language in our everyday lives and by learning these short phrases, you can start including them as part of your own common language and everyday phrases. 

If you’re planning on visiting Ireland anytime soon, it’s also great to know how to say common phrases like hello, and goodbye in Irish, as it shows cultural appreciation for the country you are visiting. In this article, we’ll outline the different ways to say hello and goodbye in Irish, along with the literal translation of the phrase and how to pronounce it. 

How to say goodbye in Irish?

The native language of Ireland is Gaelic, which has a unique syntax and grammatical structure, compared to the English language. Gaelic also uses a verb-subject-object language structure, which is only used for around 8% of the languages used in the entire world. 

Saying goodbye in Irish is not a one size fits all approach, it is similar to the English language in that there are many different variations of saying goodbye, depending on the formality and context. 

What is true though, is that many of the phrases for saying goodbye in Irish are derived from the phrase “have safety”. Rather than wishing someone a farewell, the Irish would tend to wish them safety on their travels. 

Check out the different ways of saying Goodbye in Irish Gaelic below:

1. Slán: This is a common phrase used for saying goodbye in Irish, it is informal and used in casual conversation. 

2. Slán agat: Literally translates as, “have safety”. You would also commonly use this phrase when you are the person leaving. 

3. Slá leat: Another term for saying goodbye, but more commonly used for saying goodbye to the person who is leaving. 

4. Slán abhaile: This phrase is used when you know the person is going to be travelling home, it literally translates as, “Have a safe trip home”.

Check out this article from Bitesize Irish that includes audio clips and literal translations of how to say Goodbye in Irish, or check out the video below to hear how the different goodbye phrases are pronounced. 

How to say goodbye for now in Irish?

5. Slán go fóill: This phrase literally translates as “Bye for now”. It is a less formal phrase and is used when you expect to see that person again soon. 

How to say goodbye my friend in Irish?

6. Slan mo chara: This is a phrase used to say goodbye to a friend in Irish, it literally translates as, “Safe home, my friend.” you can also use “mo chara” as a term of endearment and fondness for a friend. 

How to say good luck in Irish?

7. Go n-éirí leat: is the phrase you would use for wishing someone good luck in Irish, you might want to say this phrase in lieu of saying goodbye.

How to say goodbye and God Bless in Irish?

8. Slan, Agus Beannacht de leath: This is the literal translation of “Goodbye and God bless” in Irish. As a predominately catholic country, it would be common to wish God’s blessing on someone.

How to say goodbye in Irish slang? 

In Irish slang, it is common to hear someone saying bye multiple times before they actually depart. On the telephone or in person, there are multiple exchanges of bye-bye-bye, it is by no means a blunt goodbye, and it is actually viewed as a polite exchange. 

This may seem strange to the non-Irish, and it is more commonly used in an informal setting, with people whom you are familiar with. It’s also important to note that this exchange usually uses the English word for goodbye, although Gaelic is the native language of Ireland, Irish people still predominantly speak English due to historical influences. 

How to say Hello in Irish? 

Just like saying goodbye in Irish, saying Hello also takes many different forms and it has religious influences given the religious background of the country. 

Dia dhuit: Literally translates as “God to you”. It is a formal way of saying hello and a commonly used phrase in Ireland. 

Dia daoibh: Literally translates as “God to you all”. This is used when greeting multiple people at once. 

Dia is Muire duit: This is commonly used as a response to ‘Dia dhuit’ or ‘Dia daoibh’. It literally translates as, “God and Mary to you.”

Aon scéal: This phrase literally translates as, “any story?” which is also seen in the Irish phrase in the English language of, “What’s the story?”. This phrase should only be used to greet close family and friends, it is not a professional or informal greeting. 

What is an Irish goodbye?

If you have been researching how to say Goodbye in Irish, you might have come across the phrase “An Irish Goodbye”, but what exactly is this? 

An Irish goodbye is a term coined for the subtle exiting of an event, where you basically leave a party or gathering without saying goodbye to the host or other guests. 

Other countries have similar variations of the same practice, including a Dutch Exit or A French Leave. 

Is the “Irish goodbye” offensive?

An Irish Goodbye is not deemed offensive by the host or any other guests, it is a culturally recognized practice and you won’t face any heat the next day for doing so. 

Why the Irish goodbye is polite?

An Irish Goodbye can actually be seen as a polite manoeuvre because rather than drawing attention to your departure, you are letting the party continue as is without any disruption. It is seen as a selfless act and one that is respected. 

Visiting Ireland? 

If you’re planning a trip to visit the Emerald Isle, be sure to check out our Connolly Cove Youtube channel for things to do in Ireland. We have taken each county of Ireland and created amazing videos to inspire your upcoming trip and ensure that you don’t miss any worthwhile experiences. 

You can also check out our ultimate guide to Irish slang, to prepare you with local phrases and colloquialisms to help you when interacting with locals on your trip or this article on Irish Blessings that you can use.

If you’re still unsure of how to say goodbye in Irish, or feeling overwhelmed with the number of different variations, just stick with saying “Slán” to keep you right.

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