Ken Mallott found a Chinese use of a Japanese word in a way that surprised him. He explains that he's an Orioles fan, and in 2012 they signed Taiwanese pitcher Wei-Yin Chen (陳偉殷), who apparently has quite the following back in Taiwan. His fans have taken to posting Chinese messages in traditional script on Facebook before 殷仔's starts, encouraging their fellow supporters to get up early to watch him pitch.
Before discussing the word in question, here is a note on the pronunciation of Wei-Yin Chen's nickname, 殷仔, from Michael Cannings:
In Taiwanese it would be In-á. As you know, the 仔 suffix is strongly associated with Taiwanese. But on the news they call him Yīnzǎi, i.e., the Mandarin pronunciation. The former Yankees pitcher Wang Jian-min was called Jiànzǎi 建仔 (again with Mandarin pronunciation) by the media in Taiwan, and Chen Wei-yin, as a foreign-based player, has followed the same pattern since his stint in Japan. I don't know whether they use the Taiwanese forms on the Taiwanese-language news programs.
Ken noted the use of gānbadiē 甘吧爹 as a Chinese transcription of the Japanese word ganbatte がんばって / 頑張って ("go for it; do your best") by Chen's fans. The characters of the Chinese transcription 甘吧爹 literally mean:
gān 甘 ("sweet")
ba 吧 (final particle indicating a suggestion, request, approval, etc.; used for transcription of foreign sounds [e.g., "bar"] and for onomatopoeia)
diē 爹 ("dad") [Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!]
Obviously these definitions have nothing whatsoever to do with the meaning of ganbatte, the Chinese syllables serving only to transcribe the sounds of the Japanese word. It is clear that ganbatte –> gānbadiē 甘吧爹 ("do your best; go for it") has entered Chinese through the oral realm. This is quite different from the names of Japanese persons and places, where Sapporo 札幌 is pronounced as Zháhuǎng and Kawabata Yasunari 川端康成 is pronounced as Chuānduān Kāngchéng, following the Chinese pronunciation rather than attempting to transcribe the Japanese pronunciation. It would seem strange indeed to pronounce the kanji used to write the vernacular term ganbatte, namely 頑張, as wánzhāng.
Here's a brief introduction (from Wired in Japan) to the word ganbatte with sample sentences showing how to use it in various conjugations (derived from the infinitive form ganbaru がんばる / 頑張る ("to do one's best").
Instead of gānbadiē 甘吧爹 ("do your best; go for it"), Chen's supporters could cheer him on with the Chinese expression jiāyóu 加油 ("make an extra effort; go!"), but then the nyuansu ニュアンス ("nuance") would be different. We must bear in mind that, prior to joining the Orioles, Chen spent four years in the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan and that — because Taiwan was a colony of Japan for half a century (1895-1945) — the influence of Japanese culture there is even greater than it is elsewhere.