Okinawa Hai fallback


Kaho’s Japanese Corner: Ganbatte

What does Ganbatte means?  There is no direct translation for this.  It means sort of a combination of “work hard” and “keep it up”.  I hear that some non-Japanese people don’t like this phrase because people say this to you when you are challenging or about to challenge something difficult and you are already working hard for it.   You can interpret it that way, but to me, it also means that the person who says this supports you spiritually with whatever you’re working on.

You run a race and people on the street will say “ganbatte!” to you.

It’s a day before a big exam and your friends cheer you by saying “ganbatte!”

You’re departing to move to a new place where you have never lived.  Your friends will say “ganbatte!”

As a reply, you can say “ganbari mas”, which means that I will work hard or I’ll try my best.  You can also say “arigato”, thank you (for supporting).

“Ganbaru” is the verb “to work hard”.  The past tense of “ganbaru” is “ganbatta”.  I like the word “ganbatta ne”, “you worked hard!” with a connotation of “good job”.  The end result doesn’t matter.  You might not have succeeded, but the act of “ganbaru”, to work hard, is meaningful and you are acknowledged for your hard work.

Let’s ganbaru with whatever the next challenge we have!

Want to read more of these helpful Japanese language posts?  Check them all out HERE.