Listen to Podcast | Hokkien: How Do You Say “Hello, Long Time No See”
Really / Very – 真 – jin
Long time – 久 – gu
Long time no see – 真久无看着 – jin gu boh kua dio
Most – 最 – zuay
Near – 近 – ghun
Recently – 最近 – zuay ghun
Good – 好 – ho
How have you been recently? – 你最近好吗? – li zuay ghun ho bo?
Podcast Transcript | Hokkien: How Do You Say “Hello, Long Time No See”
Hello everyone, long time no see! Hope you had a good break. Are you ready for your next Hokkien lesson? My name is Eugene and once again, welcome to “How Do You Say” on LearnDialect.sg. In today’s podcast, we will be covering the exact phrase at the start: “Hello, Long Time No See!”
As we have learnt previously, “hello” is “你好”, so what about ”long time no see”?
In Hokkien, we express it by “真久无看着”.
The first word, 真, refers to “very” while the second word, 久 refers to “long time”. When combined together, it literally means “very long time”.
The next word, 无, is a common term in Hokkien that is used to negate an action. In our case here, 无 is applied to the action of 看, which means “to see” in English. As such “无看” means “not seeing”.
The last word is a particle in Hokkien to complete the sentence.
By saying 你好 prior to the whole phrase of 真久无看着, you address the person you are speaking to. Alternatively, you can also say 真久无看着你.
Now, give it a try. Pause the audio to practice on your own.
Great. Ready for part 2?
After saying “long time no see”, Hokkiens in Singapore typically would continue to ask the person how he/she has been doing recently. This is expressed by “你最近好吗?”
The new words in this phrase are 最,近 and 好. “最” means “most”, “近” refers to “near” and when combined together, “最近” refers to “recently” in Hokkien.
“好” means “Good” and as we have learnt previously, we add a “吗” behind to imply asking a question. As such, the whole phrase 你最近好吗? translates literally into “You recently good?”
There we have it, “你好, 真久无看着, 你最近好吗?”
Let me repeat, “你好, 真久无看着, 你最近好吗?”
Our Philosophy for Learning Hokkien in Singapore
The pronunciation of Hokkien words varies from one region to another. For example, Penang Hokkien sounds different from Taiwanese Hokkien. At LearnDialect.sg, we want to make learning Hokkien fun, easy and practical for daily conversations in Singapore. As such, we think it is important to listen to how Singaporeans speak Hokkien. To do that, we have an ongoing process of collecting audio recordings from at least 100 Hokkien-speaking seniors in Singapore and thereafter based our audio pronunciation on the most commonly-heard version.
In similar nature, rather than trying to figure out which Hokkien romanization system to use (e.g. Pe̍h-ōe-jī or Taiwan Romanization System), we encourage you to form your own phonics, so that you make an association with these Hokkien words in the quickest way possible. To illustrate, the formal romanization of the English word, “eat”, is “chia̍h” in Hokkien. However, in our “Have You Eaten” podcast transcript, you’ll find that we use “jiak”, which we think relates to us better. That said, you may use other romanization (e.g “chiah”, “jia”, etc), as long as it helps you to make sense of what you hear.