Frustrating Similiarities

Talking about these two beauties:

しょうぶ 勝負
しょうはい 勝敗

Its not like me to complain (it totally is), but I constantly get these two wrong so I took a quick break from reviews to come here and complain. I know that complaining about them usually helps, so here goes nothing.

Things is I actually went to jisho and copy pasted both of these words without their meanings. I already forgot which word is “win or lose” and which one is “match”

I first thought I must be overlooking something and that its simple, but both use a clam and both have a short of angular thing attached to the clam, so yeah sucks to be me…

I’m actually going to guess right now, I have no idea if what I write here is correct, but I think 勝負 means match and 勝敗 means win or lose? I’m not going to edit this post, but it kind of shows just how confusing these are if I’m wrong ;_;

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This is where it’s best to look up the words in a Japanese only dictionary. From what I see on Goo, they look like synonyms.

Edit: Well 勝負 has an additional definition meaning something like “a match”. But the first definition simply is 勝敗 or 勝ち負け.

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This distinction was easy for me because I played Pokémon Sun in Japanese— every time another trainer challenges you to a fight, the game text introducing them says they want a 勝負 :wink:

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Maybe compare the length of the words, stupid method perhaps but you never know…

match 勝負・しょうぶ less characters
win or lose 勝敗・しょうはい more characters

match - less characters
win or lose - more characters

勝負 is so common that it seems hard to think you’d be confusing it with 勝敗 once you start consuming enough Japanese content.

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But… you were not wrong…

Also, I agree with @Leebo. Every time I get 勝負 I hear a generic anime voice screaming 勝負だぁぁぁぁぁ in my head.
Maybe start watching some sports anime?

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I watch a ton of sports anime yet I’ve never heard of that word and can’t really associate it with anything :c

I guess it’s one of those things you never notice until you suddenly feel like it’s everywhere :thinking:

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Probably doesn’t help that BOTH words can mean “victory or defeat” according to Jisho and they are both composed of kanji meaning “win” and “lose/failure/defeat”. This issue could be resolved by adding a synonym to 勝負 so you can just answer both of them with the same response.

But if you want a handle for remembering which one means “Match” here is some additional info that might be helpful:

“勝負 (Shoubu). A Japanese word meaning a game or match, consisting of the characters for win (勝) and loss (負). A shoubugo is a serious, competitive game as opposed to a teaching game (shidougo). A shobute is a move on which victory or defeat hinges.”

Good luck on your reviews!

I haven’t run into 勝敗 yet but I remember 勝負 (しょうぶ) because of video games :smiley: In the Neo Geo fighting game Samurai Shodown, every round of the match starts with the announcer yelling 勝負!

Here’s the start of a fight:

Hope it helps you remember that one at least!

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