fbpx
    • Spring
      • Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.

        Into the Mystic

        While you probably won’t encounter an elusive river sprite in the highlands of the Northern Japan Alps, you may feel a bit lightheaded from the refreshing thin air, remarkable vistas and mystical aura of the mountains and valleys in Kamikochi.
        video

        Niseko Untapped

        Niseko draws th...
    • Summer
      • Return to Palau

        I am sitting in...
        A glass of beer from Kyoto Brewing

        Kampai! in Kansai

        Kansai has been...

        Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.
    • Autumn
      • Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.
    • Winter
      • video

        Mad About Pow

        A powder pocket...

        Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.
        video

        Shuzenji Sanctuary

        Nestled in the ...
    • Near Tokyo
      • Air it Out

        There is no bet...

        Ark Hills Marche

        Tucked away in ...

        Music Festival Guide 2018

        Warmer months mean awesome music festivals in Japan. Check out our favorite music festivals!

        Summer Runs, Races & Tours

        Trail running is a great way to explore the beautiful nature of a country while getting away from the usual tourist spots.

        Tokyo Escapes: Summer Camping

        Tokyo summers can be stifling—luckily it’s easy to escape the city for a cool break from the heat.
    • Near Kyoto
      • A glass of beer from Kyoto Brewing

        Kampai! in Kansai

        Kansai has been...

        Music Festival Guide 2018

        Warmer months mean awesome music festivals in Japan. Check out our favorite music festivals!

        Cycling Awaichi

        “Awaichi” is sh...
    • All Regions
    • Article Map
    • Ocean and Beach
      • Return to Palau

        I am sitting in...

        Air it Out

        There is no bet...

        Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.
        video

        Niseko Untapped

        Niseko draws th...
    • River and Lake
      • Air it Out

        There is no bet...
        video

        Niseko Untapped

        Niseko draws th...

        Minakami Mofest

        Head up to Japan's outdoor mecca of Minakami for the country's biggest outdoor adventure festival!
        video

        All-Season Outdoor Playgr...

        Enter the all-season world of Shinetsu Shinzekyo in Nagano and Niigata with outdoor professionals
    • Mountain and Land
    • Sky
    • Snow and Ice
      • video

        Mad About Pow

        A powder pocket...

        The Reemergence of Arai

        Lotte Arai Resort will definitely become a hotspot for western skiers and boarders over the next few years.

        Tohoku Storm Chasing

        Just a few hours north of Tokyo by Shinkansen (bullet train) await remote mountains and the countryside of Tohoku’s Akita and Iwate prefectures.
    • Travel
      • Gravity-Defying Farming in Nishi Awa

        Discover the centuries-old secret behind what keeps southern Japan's mountains growing

        Up Market in Osaka

        There wasn’t mu...

        Return to Palau

        I am sitting in...
    • Food and Drinks
      • Gravity-Defying Farming in Nishi Awa

        Discover the centuries-old secret behind what keeps southern Japan's mountains growing

        Up Market in Osaka

        There wasn’t mu...

        Return to Palau

        I am sitting in...
    • Races and Events
      • Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.

        Music Festival Guide 2018

        Warmer months mean awesome music festivals in Japan. Check out our favorite music festivals!

Gambatte!!!

Welcome to Pauline’s Pera Pera Corner – Lesson #2. Last month, I armed you with a verbal first aid kit to take with you while hiking, but this month we’ll explore some words of encouragement and praise you can generously dish out to that special someone in need.

Encouragement. Utter amazement. Genuine praise. Do you need a way to express these above feelings? Ah, well, perhaps Pauline Sensei can help.

The most commonly used phrase to offer encouragement is ganbatte (頑張って) which means good luck, or literally (and kind of bluntly), “try hard.” This versatile phrase can be used in practically any type of situation requiring encouragement whether it be before an exam, job interview or before a competition. For example, if I’m about to head off to a MTB race, you can wish me luck by saying “Pauline, ganbatte!!!”(ポーリン、頑張って!!!).

You can also use the word ouen (応援) which means “to cheer on someone.” For example, “Pauline, ouen shiteiruyo!” (ポーリン、応援しているよ; Pauline, I’m cheering you on!) Of course, I’ll show my appreciation for your kind support by slightly bowing (in a very Japanese-like manner) and saying “arigato” (ありがとう; thank you) or I may just give you a good ‘ole North American hug and a great big sankyu (サンキュー) which is, by the way, the Japanese way of saying the English word, “Thank you.”

Once the MTB race starts, you’ll soon notice I’m woefully struggling at the back of the pack. If you ask me how I’m doing, I’ll probably cry out “Kitsui” (キツイ; It’s tough) or “Taihen” (大変; It’s hard). If I’m really hurting, I’ll probably grimace and throw in a totemo (とても; very)in front like this: Totemo kitsui! Totemo taihen!

Obviously at this point, a little bit more positive encouragement wouldn’t hurt. Feel free to shout out ganbare! (頑張れ; Come On!) which is a variation on ganbatte. You could also command me to faito! (ファイト!). Similar to “sankyu,” this is the Japanese way of saying the English word “fight” and basically means “Keep at it!”

Your words of encouragement are helpful and, before you know it, I’m unbelievably challenging for the lead. If you’re as amazed as me by this incredible comeback, go ahead, boost my ego by saying “Sugoi” (すごい; Amazing!) and gleefully shouting out “Iizo” (いいぞ; Good going!). If you’re feeling particularly passionate, double it up for even further emphasis: sugoi, sugoi (すごい、すごい), iizo, iizo (いいぞ、いいぞ).

By the way, “sugoi” is a proper and gender-neutral term used by both men and women. However, you may want to experiment with a few other “sugoi” slang variations just for fun. For instance, sugeh (すげぇ) or even better (or worse?!), the “ultra-slang” sungeh (すんげぇ). Both mean “amazing” but are “guy words” generally used by the younger folk. Nowadays though, you can often overhear young women using sugeh and sungeh as well…not necessarily very ladylike in my opinion, but hey…

I fought hard. You cheered me on with your effective Japanese phrases and, oh yes, Pauline Sensei reaches the finish line in first place! Woo hoo. A champion is born! Yattane (やったね; Well done)! High Five!

And so I wish. Maybe one day…dream on Pauline, dream on.

WHAT’S THE WORD?

頑張って (Ganbatte) 頑張れ (Ganbare) = Good luck OR Best of luck
応援しているよ (Ouen shite iruyo) = I’m cheering you on
ありがとうございます (Arigato gozaimasu) ありがとう (Arigato) サンキュー(Sankyu) = Thank you, Thanks a lot
とてもキツイ (Totemo kitsui) とても大変 (Totemo taihen!) = It’s very toughIt’s very difficult
ファイト! (Faito) = Keep at it! OR Come on fight!
すごい (Sugoi)すげぇ (Sugeh) slang すんげぇ (Sungeh) slang = Amazing / Fantastic/ Excellent / Great / Awesome
いいぞ (Iizo) = Good going
やったね (Yattane) = Well done OR Good job
又は = High Five, Gimme Five

Pera Pera = to speak fluently; to blab; to blabber; Blabber Blabber

Pauline Kitamura: Looks Japanese, Speaks Japanese and even writes Japanese, but is truly Canadian. Pauline moved from Vancouver three years ago and has been romping around the great Japanese outdoors ever since.

Outdoor Japan logo tree

Related

Latest posts

Categories