I came across a website in Japanese that explains the difference between 我慢 and 耐える. The link is https://ameblo.jp/naka-tatsuya/entry-11896324259.html

The full sentence is as follows:


I was able to translate the first part, which goes something like, “Saying 我慢 is a temporary or stopgap measure, and...”

I think the second part goes something like, “They are saying that they will survive without having complaints and grumbling.”

I don't know, guys. The second part has me really stumped. I would really appreciate if you could help me understand the proper way to translate it.


(The idea of) Gaman is taking stopgap measures and getting away, not knowing what else to do, even though you have complaints.

ながもら should be a typo for ながらも, a stiff way of saying "even though". 乗り切る is "to go through (a difficult part)", "to get away (from an undesirable situation)", etc. しょうがなく is "having no other choice", "as a last resort", etc. And let's not overuse "say" to translate という, see this.

Anyway, that article is not something you can trust as a language learner. The article is saying 耐える is a more positive word used with a future prospect, but I don't agree with this explanation. In addition, 耐える has etymologically nothing to do with 多得る; it's just his own wordplay.

The fundamental difference between 耐える and 我慢する is in their usages.

耐える is an intransitive verb used in the form of ~に耐える, and its used with some unwanted stress, situation, attack, desire, etc. When the target is a clearly external one, 耐える is the only choice. The subject of 耐える can be an inanimate object, too.

我慢する is a transitive verb, and it can be used with something you want to do, especially your own desire.

Use 耐える for external things:

  • 我々は敵の攻撃に耐えた。 (敵の攻撃 is external and undesirable)
  • 困難に耐えた。 ("hard situation" is something clearly external to you)
  • この防具はライフルの弾に耐えられる。 (防具 is inanimate)

Use 我慢する for things you want to do/use:

  • 食事を我慢する, 食べたいのを我慢する
  • 贅沢を我慢する
  • シャワーを我慢する, トイレを我慢する

Both can be used when the target is an unwanted internal feeling/desire:

  • 眠気に耐える = 眠気を我慢する
  • 空腹に耐える = 空腹を我慢する
  • 痛みに耐える = 痛みを我慢する

When two are interchangeable, I feel 耐える sounds a little stiffer and more formal.

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  • Thank you so much! So there was a typo in the sentence! I guess that proves that Japanese sentences can contain typos. I think you went above and beyond the call of duty to answe this question! – Micheal Gignac Dec 30 '18 at 21:56

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