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大家好,

I know the expression "好久不见". In written conversation (chatting to Chinese people I have never met in person but am regularly chatting with), is it possible to use "好久不看" (~"long time no read")? Or does "好久不见" also work in this situation?

  • 好久不看 looks like a wrong translation of the well known American phrase "long time no see" – user6065 Mar 29 '18 at 17:07
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    @user6065 actually the opposite is the case! "long time no see" is a literal translation of the Chinese sentence - that's why it's not in accordance with English grammar. – Constantin Groß Mar 29 '18 at 19:13
  • thought so too, however Wikipedia claims native American pidgin first as possible origin (before Chinese), and custom has made it part of American English and "literal" translation from English into C is wrong in this case – user6065 Mar 29 '18 at 21:50
  • @user6065 The exact origin is unknown but Cantonese is listed as one of its possible origins [Wiktionary: long time no see]. And most Chinese would consider it borrowed from Chinese especially because the "no see" part. It makes no sense in English but when you literally translate them, like what an English learner would do, 不=>no 见=>see, it's exactly the same. It seems too unlikely to be a coincidence to me. – zypA13510 Mar 31 '18 at 18:10
  • obvious to most users, (comment #3 naturally based on same Wikipedia article) – user6065 Mar 31 '18 at 23:43
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I assume you want to use "read" because it's written conversation, but you want it to have the meaning of 好久不见, am I right? If it is so, then I think it would be better to say “好久没收到你的消息/来信” (It's been a while since your last message/letter) or “好久没联系你” (It's been a long time since we contacted each other).

“好久不看” is grammatical, but it seems to me that it would not be natural in the situation you described. Some certainly good use of “好久不看” would be (all the examples are courtesy of Google):

好久不看球了 I haven't watched a match for a long time

10几年前一直看动漫,好久不看现在该去哪里? 10 years ago I used to watch anime all the time, it's been a long time since I watched it, where should I start?

好久不看这样的电影了 I haven't seen a movie like this for a long time

And so on, so on. At first glance it seems like “好久不看” is often used as "it's been a long time since I watched/saw" rather than "read".

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    Wouldn't simply using 好久不见 be ok in this situation? Similar to how in English we often say we "said" something to a friend when we actually mean we wrote it to them online. The online world is kinda treated like chatting in person. Or what I would most likely say is 好久没聊 – user2137196 Mar 29 '18 at 12:51
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    I think it would be ok, it would certainly be understood. However, if you want to do things by the book, then I wouldn't use 好久不见 if I didn't mean that it's been a while since we met. I think your suggestion of 好久没聊 is actually very great and fits the situation perfectly as it seems the whole chatting thing is kept in rather informal manner. – kash Mar 29 '18 at 13:35
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    That might be because 看's meaning is closer to "to look at" than "to read". You could, especially as a foreigner, use "好久不读" (and if I type in haojiubudu, this is also the first suggestion that appears, which indicates somebody probably has used it in that form before) and be understood. If you're a beginner, you'll be corrected, but if you've been learning Chinese for some time and are known for your sense of humour, it might (might) come across as a funny pun. You could also try 阅 or 念, but those also convey other meanings (mainly inspect and long for, respectively). – thymaro Mar 31 '18 at 7:31
  • I think “好久不看” is NOT grammatically correct on its own. Unlike 好久不见, it requires the existence of an object(宾语) to form a 动宾短语. This is reflected in the way one interprets 好久不看球 - I think it's much more sensible to think it as 好久/不/看球 than 好久/不看/球. And in your other two examples, 动漫 and 电影 serves as the object to 看, even though 动漫 is omitted for redundancy. Without the object, 好久不看 is wrong, but 好久不见 is right on its own. – zypA13510 Mar 31 '18 at 18:29

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