Can you say 頑張って to a social superior?

I don’t know if WK is best place for this question, but I don’t know where else to ask…
So I’m sending a birthday card to my favorite Japanese idol (if this makes you cringe uncontrollably, feel free to stop reading and leave the thread now), and I want to include a sentiment something like 今年も頑張って!But I don’t know if that would be appropriate, or if it is, how to phrase it.
These are the different verb endings I’m trying to decide between, so what do you think? Vote for any you think would be appropriate. (If you need more context, the idol I’m sending it to is a male in his forties and he does seem to be fond of the word, in general. If it matters, I’m a female about 10 years younger.)

  • 頑張って!
  • 頑張ってください
  • 頑張りましょう!

0 voters

2 Likes

By idol I am assuming you mean like Justin beiber (but older) if he were Japanese? Or do you mean like a work colleague? If it’s an idol you don’t have an actual relationship with/connection to I think use whatever best gets across the intention you are trying to have them do.

I’m cringing uncontrollably :3

10 Likes

Must fight the urge to choose the third option to totally nullify the other two votes.
I have no worthwhile input.

2 Likes

To be honest, this idol is unlikely to be reading the message anyway. They have public relations staff to read their fan communications. Pretend he’s your peer and use the first one.

2 Likes

@hallus, I mean the former. Sorry, I realize the title of the thread is ambiguous…

You’re probably right, only it’s fun to imagine otherwise. And I feel like it would be pointless to send a message that I expect to not be read. And, especially since I’m a foreigner, I don’t want to be sending something that’s completely weird or inappropriate. Even if it’s just public relations staff reading it, that’s still a real person.

2 Likes

The possibility of him reading/answering back is extremely low but who cares? What matters is the intention. Go ahead and give it a try ^^

I’ve exchanged messages with some important people from my area of study (Nutrition), with several big youtubers and even with millionaires/billionaires on social media. I just gave it a try and expected nothing. I just tried it because I felt my message was important to the other person. Eventually, it ended up working.

1 Like

-cringes for fun-

It’s been a rollercoaster ride of a day, and I was ending it feeling pretty depressed and like sending that card wasn’t going to be worth the effort. Then I read your comment, so thanks for the encouragement :slightly_smiling_face:

I sent him a whole letter last year, and I think I composed it well enough to be understood (I hope :sweat_smile:) It took a very long time to write, but I kept at it because I had a message that I felt I just had to say.

This time feels a little bit different; my intention is just to brighten his day. So I think I’m going to go with 頑張って!even though fewer people voted for it. I think that’s how I would want to hear it if I needed my day brightened…

2 Likes

I don’t see why not! Write how you feel, you don’t need anybody’s permission or anything like that :slight_smile: It’s more genuine this way.

1 Like

An idol isn’t a superior. You can definitely cheer on an idol with a 頑張って!応援していまーす! or any sort of encouragement you want.

I think it sounds off to say it to a boss at work though.

2 Likes

At the very least it’s good language practice. Props to you for composing whole letters in Japanese!

I’ve heard teachers here say 来年も頑張ってください to departing superiors here. It feels weird to me too (the whole ~te kudasai constructive seems presumptive) but judging by that, it’s fine.

Curious to hear from people who are more socially in tune though, I’m sure I’m insufficiently polite plenty and just don’t notice.

1 Like

This is interesting; I’m definitely curious about the usage beyond my immediate question about the idol birthday card, so thanks for sharing.

@garlogan, did you delete the other part of your post? I read it all in an email notification, and it seemed helpful.

So glad I could help :slight_smile:

That’s how it should be! :smiley:

Just click on the pencil in the right corner of the comment. You’ll see the old version.

I did! After thinking about it a bit more, I realized that it is also based so much on context and the relationships between who is saying it that there probably are not many hard and fast rules about it. As a foreigner I wouldn’t say my opinions or experiences with the word hold any real weight ahah.

Also to add to your idol thing. On instagram I was looking at an idol (well, she is a young singer. I am not sure if that is the same as an idol…she isn’t in a unit or anything) and one of the comments had 頑張ってください! in it. So probably anything will get your feelings across, lol.

1 Like

Well, it sounds like you might have more experience than me. I’ve never lived in Japan, so I feel like my understanding of Japanese social hierarchy is pretty shaky.

Anyways, wish me luck! I finished translating the message that the card had in it, so now I’m off to write!

I kinda feel like this is something I wouldn’t say to my superior in the US either (I would NEVER say it to the 校長先生 at my school).

"Hey boss, try your best today, please.“
or
"Mr. Superior, keep pushing, please.“
or
”(add your own translation of 頑張ってください)”

Perhaps I am making the distinction between social superior and elder (先輩・年寄り). I have found that social status doesn’t illicit formal Japanese as much as age does.

All that being said…if the principal at my school was competing in sports day, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear other teachers cheering him on with one of the three expressions in the poll.

There are plenty of idols who mention ‘oh, I got something from a foreign fan’ (or fan in general). I know friends have sent in gifts and later they’ve appeared in the idols instagram or twitter. Don’t be discouraged! If you’re lucky, you’re lucky, if you aren’t, well, at least they got it!

Either option one or two are correct. I think in this case it more depends on how you want to be viewed by the idol and how they hold themselves. Now for some cringe, I went to an AKB photo event - I used 頑張って because I was on a time limit (I think you get a minute with the idol? two maybe?). It was well received. It’s more the thought than what you say - this goes for Japanese fans as well. (Interestingly my spluttering about how one girl is just too cool was also well received :sweat_smile:)

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.