One of the famous songs by Mayumi Itsuwa (五輪 真弓) is by the name さよならだけは言わないで I can't find a good translation of the name on a webpage but Google Translate suggests it means "Do not say only goodbye" and iTunes spells out the song as "Sayonaradakewa Iwanaide" as the pronunciation. Does the name of this song mean "don't only say goodbye (to me)"?

1 Answer 1


The last thing I want to do is compete with Google Translate, but "he" is wrong again.

It means "Say anything but 'good-bye'."

「~~だけは + Verb in negative form」

is a common expression meaning:

"(Verb) anything but ~~"

「ピーマンだけは食{た}べられません。」 = "I can eat anything but green peppers."

「マリアとだけは結婚{けっこん}したくない。」 = "I would marry anybody but Maria."

Because this is such a useful expression, I will close by saying:

「この表現{ひょうげん}だけは忘{わす}れないでください!」 = "Forget anything but this expression, please!"

  • I suppose "Say anything but goodbye" means "Say anything except goodbye"... rather than "Say anything, but goodbye (to you) anyways" Commented Jul 20, 2015 at 22:32
  • It seems to be the difference between だけは and だけ, right?
    – user3169
    Commented Jul 20, 2015 at 22:44
  • @user3169 you mean you don't understand what it means "Say anything, but goodbye (to you) anyways" ? that means, "hey, you can saying anything (to explain), but goodbye (anyways, because I never want to see you again)." Commented Jul 21, 2015 at 1:12
  • @user3169 Yes, 「さよならだけ言わないで」 or 「さよならだけを言わないで」 would mean "Don't only say goodbye" (i.e. "Say something along with goodbye").
    – naruto
    Commented Jul 21, 2015 at 3:53
  • @太極者無極而生 No, I agree with your first comment. Sorry for making a confusion.
    – user3169
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 20:23

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