What is the difference between 応援 (Ouen) and 支援 (Shien)? Let’s discuss it together!

「Ganbatte! Ouen suru yo~」

Have you ever heard the phrase above? Yeah, it’s a phrase we use to support our friends and relatives. However, there are two words that mean ‘to support’ in Japanese: 応援 (Ouen) and 支援 (Shien). What is the difference between them? What is the right way to use these two words?

Let’s discuss this together.


What is 応援 (Ouen).

応援 (Ouen) is a word usually used to support or cheer. It can mean helping another person, or it can mean cheering them up or wishing them well. 応援 (Ouen) is used in the sense of “to lend strength to someone”, “to encourage a player or team in a competition or match by applauding them with your voice”.

Basically, it is a word used to cheer someone on, to help them to do something well, either by words or attitude.

For example,

Ashita, supiichi kontesuto ga arundesu. Zehi ouen ni kite kudasai ne!
I have a speech contest tomorrow. Please come and support me!

Shiai ni ganbatte! Ouen suru yo.
Good luck at the games! I’ll be there for you!

What is 支援 (Shien).

支援 (Shien) is a word usually used to support or help another person (assist). It can be mean to give someone the support they need so that they can eventually do these things themselves. It can be something you do yourself, or it can be a gift of money or goods.

Basically, it is a word used to describe taking positive action to help or support others.

For example,

RJapanese no purojekuto o shien shimasu.
We support/sponsor the RJapanese project.

Minasama no goshien de kono purojekuto ga kansei sasemashita. Arigatou gozaimasu.
Your contribution has made it possible for us to complete this project. Thank you very much.


We have already discussed the meaning and use of the words 応援 (Ouen) and 支援 (Shien). Both words are similar, but they have different meanings and need to be used in different ways.

First of all, 応援 (Ouen) is a word that is used for spiritual things, such as cheering up a person or something. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you are actually doing something. So it’s OK to say いつも心から応援しています (Itsumo kokoro kara ouen shite imasu) to support your friends.

On the other hand, 支援 (Shien) is used for actual help in terms of your actions or money. We don’t use the word 支援 (Shien) without doing something, so you can’t say いつも心から支援しています (Itsumo kokoro kara shien shite imasu).


That’s all for now, I hope this helps you to memorize the difference between 応援 (Ouen) and 支援 (Shien).

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See you next time^^

いいね または フォローしてね!