How carry out you to speak “Good Luck” in Japanese? Well, girlfriend can, but you don’t. If the doesn’t do sense, stick around as I define in depth every the details behind this an overwhelming to translate phrase.

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Difficult? Really? For any type of English speaker, this more than likely seems as improbable as it walk absurd. It’s together a common, almost ubiquitous, phrase in English the it appears really strange that there’s no true identical in some languages.

Well, once it comes to Japanese, you’ll find that there are countless things the can’t be interpreted easily in between them (try to interpret “yoroshiku” to English—I’ll wait).

Still, we have the right to make some generalizations to cover girlfriend in many situations. Let’s begin simple.

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How perform you to speak “good luck” in Japanese?

The noun, “good luck,” deserve to be translated as 幸運 (ko-un). The literal, but very uncommon way to wish someone “Good luck!” would certainly be 幸運を祈る (ko-un o inoru). The natural way would one of two people be 頑張って (ganbatte), i beg your pardon carries a sense of “do her best!” or you have the right to say, 気をつけて (ki o tsukete) which carries the feeling of “be careful.”

“Good Luck” the noun

“Good luck” as a noun have the right to be easily translated together 幸運, i beg your pardon is composed phonetically together こううん and pronounced ko-un.



The an initial character in this word is 幸, i m sorry is written in hiragana together こう and also pronounced “ko.” This one character method happiness, or blessing, or fortune. The second character is 運, composed as うん and also pronounced “un.” This personality carries the feeling of, well, “carry.” Also, “fate,” “progress,” “transport,” and also “destiny.”

So, with each other these offer us the meaning of “progressing fortune.” sound like good luck come me!

Let’s see just how you can use it in a sentence with two examples:

良いベビーシッターが見つけられて幸運だった。Yoi-bebiishittaa ga mitsukerarete koun datta.I was lucky that i was able to uncover a good babysitter.

彼女は隣の人の幸運を妬んでいた。Kanojo wa tonari-no-hito-koun wo netandeita.She was jealous of her neighbor’s good fortune.

Using koun in a sentence

If we wanted to wish “koun” ~ above someone, we can say that as:



幸運を祈るkoun o inoruI wish you great luck.

祈る can also be written as いのる and is express inoru. This word way “to pray” or “to wish.” that course, if you want to use this, you’d should be mindful of the have to conjugate the る in ~ the end.

All the said, this expression isn’t used really frequently, and would be an ext common come very, an extremely literally wish great luck upon someone, rather than in the causal means “good luck” is used most generally in English.

Good luck, the Japanese way

Alright, that’s sufficient beating around the bush! for this reason far, we’ve made it clear the there’s no perfect method to refer “good luck” in Japanese.

The literal expression just doesn’t have the exact same feeling together in English. But surely Japanese world still choose to great each various other well, right? So, what expression or phrases finest captures the very same motivation?

The first, and most common, price is 頑張って, pronounce ganbatte. This is a link of 頑張る (ganbaru), the base form, but we’ll obtain into the conjugations and their nuances a small further on.

Ganbaru literally way to persevere or persist. The said, that gets supplied in a sense that us wouldn’t use words “persevere” in English. Don’t worry, we’re gonna lay out what every that way in the rest of this article.

Ganbatte is your everyday, casual expression that approximately conveys the emotion of “good luck!” In reality, it’s closer come “do your best,” or “go gettem!” yet the an ideas and feeling is similar to “good luck.”

Ganbatte in detail

Let’s take a fast look in ~ the kanji (Chinese characters) that comprise the indigenous “ganbaru.”

The first is 頑 (gan), meaning something favor “stubborn.” The kanji itself is made up of 元 and also 頁, which average “origin” and “page” respectively.

While I could find no resources on the etymological origin of this kanji, perhaps we deserve to imagine the original page of history being conservative, grounding in the past—in a word, stubborn.

The 2nd kanji is 張 (ha—it i do not care ba when merged with gan as result of a phonetic change called rendaku), which method “lengthen” or “stretch.” This one is made up of 弓 and長 which mean “bow” and also “long/leader” respectively.

This renders a many sense, as we traction on a bow come lengthen it—you can almost photo it. That said, in the initial Chinese only the 弓 component of the character lugged semantic meaning.

All this is interesting, of course, yet the truth is the it has nothing to perform with the origins of the word! 頑張る is an instance of ateji, i beg your pardon is when characters are liked for your sound, not for their meaning.



It’s just a little bit of luck the the kanji chosen likewise seem to help us psychic the word.

Origins the Ganbaru

There’s 2 leading theory on where this word comes from. The very first is the it came from 眼張 which was pronounced the exact same way, however meant, an ext or less, “to save your eye ~ above something.”

How the feeling shifted from “keep watch” to “keep going!” is a bit uncertain, yet it appears that sometime in the 18th century the definition shifted.

The second origin story originates from the archaic phrase 我に張る. Right here we have actually 我 pronounced together ga and an interpretation “I” and also 張る express haru and also just an interpretation to stretch, together above.

This expression meant “to it is in self-assertive and have your own way.” Eventually, ganiharu came to be ganbaru and the feeling of the word solidified right into “persevere.”

Either way, the word started out with a bit of a an unfavorable connotation, implying “stubbornness,” or “obstinacy.” However, because the Edo period, and right up till today, the carries a confident sense that perseverance and endurance.

All the different 頑張’s

If you want to tell someone “good luck” v the feeling of “good luck, you have the right to do it!” you’ve acquired four various version to choose from.Note: each of these have the right to mean “Good luck,” “Give the a try,” or “Do her best,” depending upon context.

頑張ってganbatte– This is the traditional form. Pretty safe in many situations.

頑張ってねganbatte-ne– This is more relaxed and much more casual. In some situations it have the right to be viewed as much more feminine, but not always.

頑張ってくださいganbatte-kudasai– This is the polite version. Usage this one with people you don’t know well.

頑張れganbare– This is a command! usage this one mainly at sporting events, shouted in ~ the height of your lungs.

For the sake of completeness (and prepare you because that seeing this native in the wild), I’ll share three an ext uses. These don’t really typical “good luck,” but they’re helpful to know.

頑張るganbaru“I’ll do my best.”“I’ll offer it a shot.”

頑張りますganbarimasSame together 頑張る, but an ext polite.



頑張りましょうganbarimasho“Let’s perform our best!”“Let’s shot it!”

頑張ろうganbaroSame as 頑張りましょう, but much more intense.

頑張ったねganbatta-ne“You did your best.”

There are other methods to translate and use 頑張る, but this article is around how to analyze “good luck,” therefore we’re yes, really only concentrating on the “good luck facet of 頑張る here.

How to usage 頑張る in a sentence

大丈夫だよ。頑張って!Daijobu-yo. Ganbatte!You’ll it is in fine. Good luck!

テスト頑張って!Testo, ganbatte!Good luck on her test!

頑張るしかないよね。Ganbaru shikanai-yoneAll you can do is shot your best.

Another feeling of “Good luck”

What if you desire to wish someone “Good luck” in the feeling of “Take care,” or “Be careful”? For the you’ll use the set phrase 気を付けて (ki-o-tsukete).

This word is comprised of three parts. First, the kanji 気, i beg your pardon in this context method something prefer “spirit” or much more so, “health.”

Next is,を i beg your pardon is a grammatical particle which just indicates that the 気 is the thing of the phrase. Finally, there’s 付けて, which in this paper definition sorta way “keep one eye on.” So, “keep one eye on her health.” makes sense.

This is the second most common means to say “good luck,” therefore let’s testimonial a pair of sample sentences.

風邪をひかないように気をつけてください。kaze o hikanai-yoni ki-o-tsukete-kudasai.Look out that you don’t capture cold, please.

そう、いいわよ。いってらっしゃい。でも運転には気を付けてね。So, ii-wayo. Itterrashai. Demo, unten-niwa ki-o-tsukete-ne.Oh, OK. Check out you. But drive carefully.

Let’s cover 2 more, somewhat less typical (but by no method uncommon) expressions.

If you desire to say “Best the luck come you,” to someone you can not check out again, provide them a お元気で (o-genki-de)!



If you desire to wish someone an excellent luck through their health, together in “Get better,” or “Stay safe in this dangerous times,” you deserve to say お大事に (o-daiji-ni).

One much more Japanese means to say great luck

You may, top top occasion watch グッドラック, i m sorry is just the phonetic transcription the “good luck.” To express this right, you’d to speak guddo rakku.

As much as I have the right to tell, this one isn’t really offered in day-to-day speech. It’s simply a way to an ext directly lug over the English expression. You’ll check out it in some track titles, film titles, and also when straight transliterating something end from English.

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Good luck the end in Japanland!

Alright, you’ve officially obtained a full rundown of all the good ways to wish someone “good luck” in Japanese. Don’t forget that these aren’t specific translations o the words, but more like translations of the feelings and intentions.

So, the following time you want to give someone a little bit of encouragement, you understand what come do! good luck!