Listen to Podcast | Cantonese: How Do You Say “Goodbye”

New Words   
I am – 我係(我是) – ngor hai 
Female Senior – 阿婆 – ah po 
Male Senior – 阿伯 – ah pak 
First / In advance – 先 – sin  
Run – 走(跑) – zau 
Walk – 行(走) – hung 
I’ll make a move first – 我走/行先喇 (我先走/行了) – ngor zau/hung sin la 
Goodbye / See you again – 再見(再见) – zoy geen


Podcast Transcript | Cantonese: How Do You Say “Goodbye”

See ya! Farewell! How many ways of saying goodbye do you know in English? Well, did you know, we have a few ways to say goodbye in Cantonese too? 你好,我係Eugene and right now, we will learn some interesting ways of saying “Goodbye” with today’s Cantonese – How Do You Say podcast on LearnDialect.sg.  

Saying goodbye in Cantonese can be as simple as saying, “阿婆 or 阿伯, bye bye!”. Yes, we can use the word, “bye”, as it is understood by most, if not all, Cantonese speakers in Singapore.  

Often, you will hear Cantonese speakers saying either “我走先喇” or “我行先喇”, both meaning “I will make a move first”. The new word “先” means “first” or “in advance” and the difference between the 2 phrases lies in “走”, which means “run” versus “行”, which means “walk”. 

Based on personal experience, I am under the impression that Cantonese speakers are more open to using these 2 phrases interchangeably. Hokkiens and Teochews, on the other hand, seem to prefer saying goodbye via running as they want to refrain from referring to the afterworld. Well, if you are intrigued and want to find out more, do check out our podcasts for Hokkien and Teochew as we have addressed this concept previously.  

To our audience who are Mandarin-educated and who are reading our Podcast transcript (oh yes, we do have a Podcast transcript and you can always find it on our main website, LearnDialect.sg or on our YouTube channel), you may actually find it confusing given that the written word in Cantonese to represent “run” is the same word as “walk” or “走” in Mandarin. There is no mistake here. In this case, Cantonese adheres to the Classical Chinese text (文言文) so Cantonese people use the Mandarin written characters, “走” for “run” and “行” for “walk”.  

Now, the most formal way to say goodbye is to say “再見”. This literally means “see you again” and is often heard in more formal settings, on TV or radio shows.  

Summing up today’s podcast, these are the 3 ways to say goodbye: 

“我走先喇” 

“我行先喇” and 

“再見” 

Thank you for listening to our Cantonese – How Do You Say Podcast on LearnDialect.sg. Hope you now have a deeper understanding of saying goodbyes in Cantonese. If you have specific phrases that you’ll like to learn, please leave us a comment on our Facebook page. We want to know how we can help you! 再見!  


Our Philosophy for Learning Cantonese in Singapore

At LearnDialect.sg, we want to make learning Cantonese fun, easy and practical for daily conversations in Singapore. As such, rather than figuring out which of the 10 or more Cantonese romanization system to use (e.g. JyutpingYale or Cantonese Pinyin etc.), we encourage you to form your own phonics, so that you make an association with these Cantonese words in the quickest way possible. To illustrate, the romanization of the English word, “eat”, is “Sik” using Jyutping and “Sihk” using Yale. However, in our “Have You Eaten?” podcast transcript, you’ll find that we use “sek”, which we think relates to us better. That said, you may use other romanization (e.g “sake”, “xig”, etc), as long as it helps you to make sense of what you hear.