Long Time No See

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"Long time no see" is really used by native speakers? it sounds very strange to me. If I meet a friend who I haven't seen for a long time, how should I say?
"Oh, I haven't see you for a long time!", I think it's too long to speak in a surprised and happy tone.
New Member11
I found it also really strange in the beginning, but I heard a lot of native speakers saying that, so it is possible to say "Long time no see" Emotion: smile
Regular Member569
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.
yes, I agree with you, I heard that lots of people saying like that.

maybe it comes from Chinese sayings : Hao Jiu Bu Jian (Pinyin In Chinese), which means "Have not seen each other for a long time".
New Member05
In context - you bump into someone you haven't seen for a long time, either accidently, or a side-effect of doing something else. With an expression of joy and/or surprise on your face, say "Hi . How you doing? Long time no see!"

"Long time no hear" is also usable on the telephone. I would guess that really modern variants like "long time no email" and so on will also start to become more common.

Rommie
Regular Member606
Hello Hurricane,

Allow me to add a couple of applicable expressions in this sense.

"Long time no see." is OK, but the usage is mostly confined to the colloquia expression.

"It's been a long time." could be used in the same situation.
It is a shortened form of "it has been a long time since I saw you last."

Maybe Rommie, as he is British, would say, "It is a long time." instead of "it has been a long time." because the former is correct. Americans habitually use the latter though it is wrong grammatically.

"It's been a while." means almost the same thing.

How about, "What a pleasant surprise!"

Mirapence
Junior Member77
I am a she. I am not British.

Rommie
Rommie, I am terribly sorry. I sincerely hope that you are not hurt by my reckless remark.

I don't understand where I picked up that unfounded idea that you were a British man.
All I want to say now is I am so sorry.

This old man will have to learn again how to behave more prudently.

Mirapence
Guest:
I was intrigued by this thread, as I'm a native English speaker, looking for the origins of this strange expression.

Grammatically, it's not very good English, and is always used in a lighthearted fashion. As someone has already suggested, it may be a parody (sorryEmotion: embarrassed) of non-native speakers (Chinese or Native American, perhaps?)

It occurred to me it might originally have come from a popular film or stageplay, in which it was a catchphrase. It has that kind of a feel about it. I haven't been able to find out anything, though.

But rest assured, it IS a genuine English expression, and you can feel confident of using it without looking foolish.

TM
Guest:
Long time, No see; Long time, No talk, and Look-See, as when you ask someone for assistance and they offer to have a Look-See all come from Chinese origin. The Long time forms are answered above, and to have a Look-See is a literal translation from Mandarin Chinese of khan-khan
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