One of the recent themes of this blog has been alternate versions of basic phrases. In the past I’ve given nuanced versions, but today it’s just a straight up replacement. 久し振り (ひさしぶり, most often as 久しぶり) is the phrase that everyone knows, and it can quickly be replaced with しばらく, which literally means “a little while.” A couple of notes:
– Thinking about しばらく made me realize that leaving the です off of 久しぶり probably sounds really weird and unnatural to Japanese people. For whatever reason, 久しぶり feels like it can stand on it’s own (possibly because of that adjective-like り・い sound on the end?), whereas しばらく, to me, does not. Nice reminder not to drop your copulas.
– I think this is an old people phrase. Useful if you like to add to your 渋い aura.
– しばらく is also often used as an adverb. “Do something for a little while.” しばらく何かをする。しばらく休みましょう being a nice one. 久しぶり can also do this, but needs a にon its end. I believe both of them can act as adjectives with the assistance of の.
Update: – Matt’s comment made it clear to me that there is a slight difference between the adverbs. When used alone in the “long time no see” sense, 久しぶり implies a positive verb (久しぶりに会う。) whereas しばらく implies a negative verb (しばらく会っていない。). Very cool.