Cantonese: How Do You Say “Hello, Long Time No See”

by | Jan 2, 2019 | Cantonese, Cantonese - How Do You Say

Listen to Podcast | Cantonese: How Do You Say “Hello, Long Time No See”

Psst… You can find our How Do You Say Podcasts on Spotify too! Head to Spotify – or search for on Spotify.

New Words

EnglishCantoneseJyutpingOur Romanization
Long time no see好耐冇見
Hou2 noi6 mou5 gin3Hou loi mou gin

Podcast Transcript | Cantonese: 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 Cantonese lesson? My name is Eugene and once again, welcome to our Cantonese – How Do You Say Podcast on Today, 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 Cantonese, we express it by 好耐冇見.

We have learnt that the first word – 好 – refers to “good” but in this case, it takes on another meaning of “very”. The second word – 耐 – refers to “long time”. When combined together, it literally means “very long time”.

The next word – 冇 – is a term used only in Cantonese to negate an action. In our case here, 冇 is applied to the action of 见, which means “to see” in English. As such 冇见 means “not seeing”.

By saying 你好 prior to the whole phrase of 好耐冇見, you address the person you are speaking to. Alternatively, you can also say 好耐冇見到你.

Now, give it a try. Pause the audio to practice on your own.

After saying “long time no see”, we can continue to ask the person “How are you?” by using what we have learnt previously.

So the formal version would be, 你好, 好耐冇見到你, 你好嗎? while the informal version would be 哈囉, 好耐冇見到你, 你點呀(怎样了)?

Hope everyone has been doing well and thank you for listening in to our Cantonese – How Do You Say Podcast on My name is Eugene and wish you a Happy New Year!

Love what you are reading? We’ve got lots more to share during our Hokkien, Teochew and Cantonese express workshops. Join us to pick up words and phrases for everyday use in Singapore. More importantly, you can help to keep these languages alive!

Our Philosophy for Learning Cantonese in Singapore

At, we want to make learning Cantonese fun, easy and practical for daily conversations in Singapore. As such, rather than figuring out which of the 10 or more Cantonese romanization system to use (e.g. Jyutping, Yale or Cantonese Pinyin etc.), we encourage you to form your own phonics, so that you make an association with these Cantonese words in the quickest way possible. To illustrate, the romanization of the English word, “eat”, is “Sik” using Jyutping and “Sihk” using Yale. However, in our “Have You Eaten?” podcast transcript, you’ll find that we use “sek”, which we think relates to us better. That said, you may use other romanization (e.g “sake”, “xig”, etc), as long as it helps you to make sense of what you hear.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *





Chinese dialects are dying too. What would you do to preserve them?


Mai tu liao. Subscribe to our newsletter for dialect-related articles, classes and events.

Ho seh liao! Look out for the goodies in your inbox soon!

Share This