Japan Word of the Day #35 – Fight! / Faito! (Encouragement in Japanese-coined English)

Today’s Word is: Faito! (ファイト!)

ファイト, pronounced faito, is a Japanese way of reading the English word “fight.”
However, fight does not mean the same in this case as in English.

“Faito” is used as an encouragement to someone.
The best translation would be “good luck,” “do your best,” or “Go!”
It is especially common when audience is cheering members of team sports.
Another common encouragement term is “フレー (furē),” which is Japanese approximation of the word “Hurray.”

Below is a traditional Japanese cheerleading team.


Cheerleading groups composed mainly of women (similar style to US) do exist in Japan nowadays, but ouendan (cheerleading squad) in Japan is traditionally mostly men dressed in school uniforms, hachimaki headbands, gloves, and they make lots of noise by shouting and drumming. Faito and furē are two typical phrases they use. This style of cheerleading groups started around 1905, whereas US style cheerleaders were introduced around 1980 in Japan.

Image source: Challenge Tsukoukou

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