How do you say “Good Luck” in Japanese? Well, you can, however you don’t. If that doesn’t make sense, stick about as I define in depth all the details behind this hard to analyze phrase.

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Difficult? Really? For any kind of English speaker, this most likely appears as improbable as it does absurd. It’s such a prevalent, practically ubiquitous, expression in English that it appears really stselection that there’s no true tantamount in some langueras.

Well, once it comes to Japanese, you’ll discover that tbelow are many type of things that can’t be interpreted quickly between them (attempt to analyze “yoroshiku” to English—I’ll wait).

Still, we deserve to make some generalizations to cover you in many cases. Let’s begin easy.

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How execute you say “excellent luck” in Japanese?

The noun, “good luck,” have the right to be analyzed as 幸運 (ko-un). The literal, yet exceptionally uncommon means to wish someone “Good luck!” would certainly be 幸運を祈る (ko-un o inoru). The organic means would certainly either be 頑張って (ganbatte), which carries a feeling of “do your best!” or you deserve to say, 気をつけて (ki o tsukete) which carries the feeling of “be mindful.”

“Good Luck” the noun

“Good luck” as a noun can be easily analyzed as 幸運, which is written phonetically as こううん and pronounced ko-un.



The first character in this word is 幸, which is created in hiragana as こう and also pronounced “ko.” This one character implies happiness, or blessing, or fortune. The second character is 運, composed as うん and also pronounced “un.” This character carries the sense of, well, “lug.” Also, “fate,” “development,” “deliver,” and “destiny.”

So, together these give us the definition of “advancing fortune.” Sounds like great luck to me!

Let’s view exactly how you can usage it in a sentence through 2 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 find an excellent 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 great fortune.

Using koun in a sentence

If we wanted to wish “koun” on someone, we can say it as:



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

祈る can also be created as いのる and also is pronounced inoru. This word indicates “to pray” or “to wish.” Of course, if you wanted to use this, you’d should be conscious of the must conjugate the る at the end.

All that said, this expression isn’t provided incredibly frequently, and would be even more common to exceptionally, extremely literally wish great luck upon someone, rather than in the causal means “good luck” is supplied many frequently in English.

Good luck, the Japanese way

Alappropriate, that’s enough beating approximately the bush! So much, we’ve made it clear that there’s no perfect means to express “great luck” in Japanese.

The literal expression simply doesn’t have the exact same feeling as in English. But sudepend Japanese human being still like to wish each various other well, right? So, what phrase or phrases ideal captures the exact same motivation?

The initially, and also a lot of prevalent, answer is 頑張って, pronounced ganbatte. This is a conjugation of 頑張る (ganbaru), the base form, yet we’ll gain into the conjugations and also their nuances a tiny further on.

Ganbaru literally means to permajor or persist. That sassist, it gets used in a sense that we wouldn’t use the word “persevere” in English. Don’t worry, we’re gonna lay out what all that means in the rest of this post.

Ganbatte is your everyday, casual expression that about conveys the feeling of “excellent luck!” In reality, it’s closer to “carry out your ideal,” or “go gettem!” but the impetus and feeling is similar to “great luck.”

Ganbatte in detail

Let’s take a quick look at the kanji (Chinese characters) that consist of the word “ganbaru.”

The initially is 頑 (gan), definition somepoint favor “stubborn.” The kanji itself is made up of 元 and also 頁, which intend “origin” and also “page” respectively.

While I might discover no sources on the etymological beginning of this kanji, probably we can imagine the original page of background being conservative, stuck in the past—in a word, stubborn.

The second kanji is 張 (ha—it becomes ba as soon as combined via gan because of a phonetic change dubbed rendaku), which suggests “lengthen” or “stretch.” This one is consisted of of 弓 and長 which expect “bow” and also “long/leader” respectively.

This provides a lot of feeling, as we pull on a bow to lengthen it—you have the right to practically picture it. That shelp, in the original Chinese only the 弓 part of the character carried semantic meaning.

All this is interesting, of course, yet the reality is that it has actually nothing to carry out through the origins of the word! 頑張る is an instance of ateji, which is as soon as characters are favored for their sound, not for their meaning.



It’s just a bit of luck that the kanji preferred also seem to assist us remember the word.

Origins of Ganbaru

There’s 2 leading theories on wbelow this word originates from. The first is that it came from 眼張 which was pronounced the very same method, but intended, more or much less, “to store your eye on somepoint.”

How the feeling shifted from “store watch” to “keep going!” is a bit uncertain, however it seems that at some time in the 18th century the meaning shifted.

The second beginning story comes from the archaic phrase 我に張る. Here we have actually 我 pronounced as ga and definition “I” and 張る pronounced haru and simply definition to stretch, as above.

This expression intended “to be self-assertive and also have actually your own means.” Ultimately, ganiharu ended up being ganbaru and also the sense of the word solidified right into “persignificant.”

Either means, the word started out with a little bit of a negative connotation, implying “stubbornness,” or “obstinacy.” However, because the Eperform period, and appropriate up till now, it carries a positive sense of perseverance and endurance.

All the various 頑張’s

If you want to tell someone “good luck” through the sense of “good luck, you deserve to do it!” you’ve obtained 4 different variation to select from.Note: Each of these deserve to intend “Good luck,” “Give it a shot,” or “Do your best,” depending upon context.

頑張ってganbatte– This is the typical create. Pretty safe in the majority of cases.

頑張ってねganbatte-ne– This is more calm and even more casual. In some cases it deserve to be viewed as more feminine, but not constantly.

頑張ってくださいganbatte-kudasai– This is the polite variation. Use this one through civilization you don’t recognize well.

頑張れganbare– This is a command! Use this one mainly at sporting events, shouted at the peak of your lungs.

For the sake of completeness (and also preparing you for seeing this word in the wild), I’ll share 3 more uses. These don’t really suppose “great luck,” but they’re advantageous to know.

頑張るganbaru“I’ll do my best.”“I’ll provide it a swarm.”

頑張りますganbarimasSame as 頑張る, yet more polite.



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

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

頑張ったねganbatta-ne“You did your best.”

There are various other methods to translate and use 頑張る, but this article is around how to translate “good luck,” so we’re really just concentrating on the “excellent luck aspect of 頑張る below.

How to use 頑張る in a sentence

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

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

頑張るしかないよね。Ganbaru shikanai-yoneAll you can execute is attempt your finest.

Anvarious other sense of “Good luck”

What if you want to wish someone “Good luck” in the feeling of “Take treatment,” or “Be careful”? For that you’ll usage the collection phrase 気を付けて (ki-o-tsukete).

This word is comprised of 3 parts. First, the kanji 気, which in this conmessage means something choose “spirit” or even more so, “health and wellness.”

Next off is,を which is a grammatical pshort article which simply shows that the 気 is the object of the phrase. Finally, there’s 付けて, which in this conmessage sorta way “store an eye on.” So, “save an eye on your health and wellness.” Makes feeling.

This is the second many widespread way to say “excellent luck,” so let’s evaluation 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 catch 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. See you. But drive very closely.

Let’s cover 2 even more, rather less common (but by no means uncommon) expressions.

If you desire to say “Best of luck to you,” to someone you can not watch aget, offer them a お元気で (o-genki-de)!



If you desire to wish someone good luck through their health and wellness, as in “Get better,” or “Stay safe in these dangerous times,” you can say お大事に (o-daiji-ni).

One even more Japanese way to say great luck

You might, on occasion check out グッドラック, which is just the phonetic transcription of “good luck.” To pronounce this appropriate, you’d say gudcarry out rakku.

As much as I deserve to tell, this one isn’t really supplied in day-to-day speech. It’s just a means to more directly bring over the English expression. You’ll view it in some song titles, film titles, and also once directly transliterating somepoint over from English.

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Good luck out in Japanland!

Alright, you’ve officially acquired a complete rundvery own of all the good ways to wish someone “excellent luck” in Japanese. Don’t forgain that these aren’t precise translations o the words, however more prefer translations of the feelings and intentions.

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