Saturday, December 13, 2008


Many years back, I studied Japanese at university; now, not having kept it up, and not having been too diligent about learning vocabulary, I've forgotten most of it, but one handy phrase has become a personal proverb for me:

しかたが ない
(Shikata ga nai)

This means literally "as for" (ga, the subject-marking particle, a 'postposition') "the way" (-kata) "of doing" (shi, from suru, to do), [it is] "not" (nai) - or in idiomatic English, "It cannot be helped".  It's the sort of expression that comes in handy when those slings and arrows of outrageous fortune come one's way...

The only response to this is 


- which means, Be strong, Play the man!  (from gambaru, to do one's best, no matter what the situation).

In the face of the troubles of life, all we can do is exercise virtue - and, as Christians, cast our cares upon the Lord (Ps 54:23).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All very true. :D

I once studied Japanese too.