Translate this Japanese t-shirt for me, please
April 19, 2017 1:39 PM   Subscribe

I want to purchase this t-shirt for a friend, but am not sure what the text says. Could someone please translate it for me?
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Good Luck! (or something like that)
posted by so fucking future at 1:41 PM on April 19, 2017

Good luck, persevere, try hard
posted by *s at 1:42 PM on April 19, 2017

Also, the phone app for Google Translate will do this for you through the camera, which can come in handy.
posted by ambrosen at 1:45 PM on April 19, 2017 [5 favorites]

Ganbatte! = "Do your best!" / Persevere/ Don't give up, etc
posted by sukeban at 1:49 PM on April 19, 2017 [4 favorites]

Sweet, thank you all!
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 2:00 PM on April 19, 2017

Sandettie, any idea what the slogan has to do with the milk carton pictured on the shirt?
posted by JimN2TAW at 2:07 PM on April 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Although I am not a machine and therefore am only speaking from human experience, I would never translate "ganbatte" as "good luck."

As sukeban says, "ganbatte" usually means "do your best", "try hard" or "don't give up."
posted by My Dad at 2:51 PM on April 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

I would never translate "ganbatte" as "good luck."

I think it's used even when the outcome you're talking about is mostly luck (i.e. when it doesn't matter how hard you try). I don't think there's a commonly-used equivalent to "good luck," in the sense that you say it to somebody to wish them good fortune before an outcome that is determined largely by chance.

(On the other hand, in the US, I think people often say "good luck" when it does matter -- in a basketball or football game, or a gymnastics competition or something. So, while it doesn't translate directly, it is used in similar situations, and with similar intent.)
posted by spacewrench at 3:00 PM on April 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yeah, its not quite the same meaning but while I might not translate ganbatte as good luck, I would definitely translate good luck as ganbatte some times. Like before a sports game, as spacewrench says, in English the most natural would be "good luck!" but in Japanese I'm pretty sure I'd go with "ganbatte".

(The literal meaning is definitely closer to "do your best" or "try hard", but in English at least I often use "good luck" in the same situations I would use those)
posted by thefoxgod at 3:29 PM on April 19, 2017 [4 favorites]

I usually think 'go for it!' but I've certainly heard 'try your hardest' and so on. It's not 'good luck' as in 'this slot machine is entirely an encounter with chance so luck is the only thing that will help you' but more 'give it your best shot', 'maximum effort', that sort of thing.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 6:39 PM on April 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

As someone who has lived in Japan for a while, "ganbatte" literally means "please make your best effort" but also has the connotation that the person saying it cares about you and hopes that your efforts will be successful. In that sense, it is similar to "Good luck". And in the same sense as "good luck" it can also mean that they doubt your ability to achieve your goal but still hope you will try your best.
posted by banishedimmortal at 3:48 AM on April 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

TBH I kind of hate "gabatte".
posted by My Dad at 12:12 PM on April 20, 2017

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