Gaman is the Japanese word for endurance, perseverance or self-control that has its origins in Zen Buddhism.
Gaman is most commonly used as a verb by suffixing it with “suru”. Saying “Gaman shimasu” would mean “I will endure it”. You can also tell someone to be patient and endure the situation by saying “Gaman shite kudasai”.
Gaman is also often used with the negative form of the verb “dekiru”, which is “dekinai”, or “dekimasen” in the polite form. You can say “Gaman dekimasen” to indicate that you are not able to endure something.
For those of you who are familiar with Japanese culture, you probably know that being patient and enduring is very much an integral part of Japanese culture. For example, the word for ninja when written using kanji characters basically means “someone who endures”. Being able to endure difficult situations, deprioritizing oneself and being patient is socially expected in Japan.
Let’s remember the following useful sentences before going to Japan!
●Kore ijou wa mou gaman dekimasen.
> I cannot tolerate any more than this.
●Mou chotto gaman shitekudasai.
> Please endure it just a little bit more.
Now all that’s left is to go out there and try using them in Japan!
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Yaku-ni-tatsu (役に立つ) Fun! Japan Words vol.161