So long! Farewell!


Ahoj! Hello! Welcome to ABC of Czech, Radio Prague's special language programme that unravels the mysteries of the Czech language. In this programme we are looking at formal ways to say goodbye in Czech. We can call it a goodbye party - rozlucka, as it's called in Czech slang.

You may already know that the ways to say goodbye informally are the same as informal ways of saying hello but be careful because this is not the case for formal goodbyes. Na shledanou is the typical formal way to say goodbye; literally it means until we meet again. This is often informally abbreviated to nashle.

Sometimes people combine words that are generally considered informal with na shledanou. For example in Brno at the Vegetable Market - Zelený trh, I frequently hear vendors saying na shledanou nazdárek, literally until we meet again, farewell.

Television presenters often say na viděnou, which literally means until we see each other again. Radio presenters often say na slyšenou, literally until the next hearing. Among older generations and in rural areas you may hear sbohem - with God, a Czech equivalent of the French "adieu".

Among younger shop assistants you may hear hezký den or pěkný den - have a nice day or have a pretty day. Though I have heard language purists say that hezký den and pěkný den are Americanisms.

By now I hope you are well acquainted with mějte se, which many literally means have a good time but is used in the sense of take care. It is the imperative of the verb to have oneself - mít se, which you know from the expression how are you? - jak se máte?

On that note I will say goodbye - rozloučím se. I trust that you are well. Until next time! Na shledanou! Take care! Mějte se!