|Kanji in this term|
|は > ば
- conjunctive form of [godan]
Used for encouragement or to wish good fortune, it translates more as “do your best/give it your best” than “good luck”; compare French bon courage. In another sense, it connotes that there's always something better at the end of trying times.
As the conjunctive form, this is the most commonly used form of the verb when speaking directly to a single person. When cheering on a team or group, the imperative form 頑張れ (ganbare) is more common.