J.S's Blogs for English Village (6)



Many years ago, a Chinese businessman who was taking my school's intensive Japanese course, suddenly flew into a rage.
This was because he had been having a difficult time learning, and his Japanese teacher had told him "Ganbatte".  Why did this upset him ?

The common translation for "Ganbaru" is "Do one's best"..., but in English, this phrase can have some negative implications.  For example, the Chinese businessman was upset because he was already doing his best effort, and he was still having a hard time.
He resented the idea that perhaps the teacher thought he was not learning quickly simply because he was not trying hard !

In English, we don't say "I'll do my best", except sometimes when it means "I'll do my best but I don't think that will be enough".  Similarly, we might say "I'm doing my best !" as a protest, meaning don't scold me, even though I'm not doing well in school.  I'm really trying !

英会話表現&英単語 その124
intensive Japanese course          集中日本語講座
fly into a rage                    怒りだす、激怒する
have a difficult time learning     覚えるのに苦労する
upset                              怒らせる
negative implications              否定的な意味合い
resent the idea that 〜      〜という考えに憤然とする
as a protest                       抗議として
scold                              叱る

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