Gengo Girls #30: Dreaming Of A White Christ-masu?

Gengo Girls #30: Dreaming Of A White Christmasu?


Ganbaru in it’s various conjugated forms is another word that’s really easy to pick out in Japanese media. It’s a common phrase that gets used anytime someone wants to wish someone else good luck (try your best). Or encourage someone who is having a tough time (keep trying). Or compliment someone on a job well done (you did your best (and it worked)). Or to console someone who failed (you did you best (even though it didn’t work out)).

It’s basically a super word that can be pulled out anytime hard work and fighting spirit is involved. And I think it says a lot about Japanese culture that their version of “good luck” is more literally translated as “go work really hard”.


頑張る = がんばる = to try your best


言語ガールズ #30

Dreaming Of A White Christ-masu?

Blue: The dictionary form of a verb and the polite form both start the same way, but the polite form will always end in ます.

Blue: For example: look at the 日本語 verb for “to try your best”.

Blue: The dictionary form is がんばand the polite form is がんばります.

Yellow: They do sound pretty similar.

Blue: Be aware that most people pronounce ます more like “mas” than “masu”.

Yellow: Oh! Just like how です sounds more like “des” than “desu”!

Blue: So, are you ready to learn the rules for making polite verbs?

Yellow: Yeah! Let’s 頑張ります!

Blue: That’s the spirit!