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My company is developing an iPhone game that will be for sale in the US and Japan. There is a share button that allows people to text message, email, Facebook, and twitter their friends about the game. In english, the button just says "share". What would be the appropriate replacement for this in Japanese that makes sense culturally?

I am trying to use the culturally correct word. I have found 分かち合う. But I believe this word more accurately means "dispense."

分け合う is what I believe I should use. I just want to make sure it is correct and makes sense so no one is offended.

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3 Answers 3

分け合う and 分かち合う do translate to "share", literally as in "sharing an apple with two other people [by dividing it into thirds]" and figuratively as in "sharing your joys and sorrows with your loved ones". I won't try to distinguish them here because I don't think either word is quite right, so it's not entirely relevant, but I don't think either word is offensive.

The real problem is that you're asking about a button labeled "share" in a social media context, and I think that calls for a different word. In that context, the word I've mostly seen for "share" is 共有. Here's an example of a share button on YouTube labeled 共有:

Screen shot of YouTube with a 共有 button

I must admit I'm not a big user of social media, but searching around on Google seems to confirm that other sites use it, too.

So my suggestion is 共有.

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You can use 「シェアする」 which is, I believe, used in the context of computer software and websites, apps, etc. Shorter「シェア」is also used, e.g. on Facebook app.

I've seen it on some websites, e.g. on Japanese Amazon next to Facebook, Twitter, etc. buttons which is similar to what you want to do.

Example from Facebook app:

enter image description here

Example from Japanese Amazon:

enter image description here

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I know you are asking specifically for technology, but for what it's worth, 分かち合う is used a lot in emotional "sharing". As in sharing your feelings, telling a personal story, etc.

This is a big word in Japanese Christian lingo; one that I'm very familiar with. Often when someone will give a testimony ([証]{あかし}) of something in their life (an answered prayer, a struggle they are facing, etc.), the act of sharing this story is 分かち合う. Or if some people are praying together for each other, telling the others how you would like them to pray for you (your prayer requests) is denoted as [祈]{いの}りのリクエストを分かち合う.

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