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I just talked with a Japanese speaker, and in ending the conversation I used "Konbanwa" - as in good night. I was just wondering if that was appropriate for ending a conversation as saying "good night" would be in English.

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No, it isn't.

今晩は{こんばんは} is only used as a greeting when meeting someone, as the first thing you'd say. Although it literally means This evening, it's not the equivalent of Good night but rather of Hello / Hi.

To wish someone a good night you'd usually use お休みなさい{おやすみなさい} which literally is an invitation to rest, so closer to saying Have a good night in English. Note though, that this is more used before going to sleep.

When parting with someone, また appended with the next time you plan to see them again (e.g. また[明日]{あした} for See you tomorrow or また[来週]{らいしゅう} for See you next week) or casually just またね is simple and appropriate in an informal setting. In a more formal setting, [失礼]{しつれい}します or any of its variation is a great and polite way to say goodbye. These can be used any time of the day (or night for that matter).

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It would be awkward as Konbanwa is used when you make first contact with someone, not when ending a conversation.

In Japanese, when you first greet/visit someone you usually use the following three phrases depending on the time of day:

Morning -> Ohayo gozaimasu
Afternoon -> Konnichiwa
Evening/Night -> Konbanwa

Just note that they are only used when you first greet/visit someone, which means they are not exactly the same as "Good morning/afternoon/night (evening), as you can say those phrases when meeting and parting.

When parting, there are various sayings depending on the situation:

Sayonara -> A bit formal. Usually used when you won't see someone for a while
Mata-ne -> Less formal, probably someone you see often
Ja-ne -> Casual, used with friends
Bai-bai -> Not used by adult males. Usually small children or young girls used this.
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    Decent answer, but it could be made better by including some examples of the kind of phrases the OP could use to end the conversation, considering that was his original problem.
    – Iker
    Nov 19 '16 at 10:41
  • @Iker: Good point Iker, I've added a few to my answer.
    – Jesse Good
    Nov 20 '16 at 1:01
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I think it's not, when chatting/texting with my japanese friend. I always use こんばんは when I text her first (at night) to start the conversation and we usually end it by saying おやすみ (at night that near sleep time)。

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