Live Seminar

How to Cheer Someone On in Japanese


How to Cheer Someone On in Japanese

Welcome back to another “Video & Article” series, this time for another live-stream with tutor Erika. This live-stream was aired during the Winter Olympics in South Korea, so the topic is how to cheer someone on in Japanese. You can use the following vocabulary and phrases when watching your favourite sport or even when cheering up friends and colleagues.

Table of Contents
[Sport-related Vocabulary]
[How to cheer someone on]

[Sport-related Vocabulary]

Erika is a huge figure skating fan and went to Korea to cheer on the Japanese figure skaters competing. And luckily, Yuzuru Hanyu and Shoma Uno won Gold and Silver medals! Let’s take a look at some sports-related vocabulary.

Gold medal

Silver medal

Bronze medal

Winner’s Podium


[How to cheer someone on]

Next, let’s take a look at different expressions you can use to cheer someone on in Japanese. How can you encourage athletes or the people around you?

The word for “To support someone” in Japanese is “応援する”. “おうえん” is a noun meaning “support”, “cheering”, or “aid”, and “する” as you all know is the verb for “to do”.

Another verb you can use is “頑張がんばる”. The verb itself means “to try one’s hardest”, or “to persist”. To cheer someone on, you could say:


A formal option would be: “頑張がんばってください”. All of these phrases can be translated to “Good luck!” or “Keep it up!”. It’s a very commonly used expression in Japanese. You can use it in pretty much any situation, so don’t worry too much about the English translation and use it when you want to cheer someone up or if someone is having a hard time.

During the Olympics, you may hear many Japanese fans chanting:

がんばれ!がんばれ にっぽん!

Another phrase you can use is “あきらめないで!” which means “Don’t give up!”. It is usually softly spoken and has a feminine touch. A more fierce version would be “あきらめるな”. This phrase comes from the verb “あきらめる” which means “to give up”. If you add “ないで” to the verb stem, or “な” to the dictionary form, it becomes a negative sentence meaning “Never give up!”, or “Don’t give up!”.

Let’s look at yet another expression:


All of these are variations of “Everything will be okay”, or “It’ll be fine”. Another translation could be: “Things will work out.”

When you see friends or colleagues who are having a hard time or are working too much, you might want to tell them “Please take it easy!”, or “Don’t strain yourself too much!”. In Japanese you could say:

無理むりをしないでください (polite)
無理むりしないでね! (casual)

無理むりする” is a verb meaning “to strain” or “overwork” oneself.

If you want to encourage someone, you can also say:


Instead of “きみ” or “あなた” you can use the name of the person you are talking to, e.g.: “なおこならできるよ”. This sentence means “You can do it!”.


Let’s took a look at one last expression used nearly as often as “がんばって” in Japanese: “大丈夫だいじょぶ”. “大丈夫だいじょぶ”, or “大丈夫だいじょぶだよ” can be translated to “Everything will be fine”, “It’s okay”, or “Don’t worry” in English. It is an expression used to make the other person feel relief, and sometimes also has a similar meaning as “Calm down!” in English. It’s just a little more subtle.

As Erika says, it’s kind of a magical word that will help your friends relax and feel better! If you see someone who is worried or having a hard time, try and help them calm down by saying “大丈夫だいじょぶだよ”, and then help them by listening to their problems.

That’s it for today. If you have any questions, you can always clear them up by booking a lesson with one of our native Japanese tutors. See you next time!

単語たんごリスト(Vocabulary list)
フィギュアスケート Figure skating
応援おうえんする To cheer someone on
韓国かんこく Korea
きんメダル Gold medal
ギンメダル Silver medal
どうメダル Bronze medal
表彰台ひょうしょうだい Winner’s podium
仕方しかた Way, method
頑張がんば To persist, to try one’s best
あきらめる To give up
なんとかなる To manage somehow, to be alright somehow
無理むりする To strain oneself, to overwork oneself
大丈夫だいじょぶ All right, safe, okay

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