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.


1 Answer 1


(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.

  • 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! Commented Dec 30, 2018 at 21:56

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