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One of my coworkers todays said something like:

"Today I have too many 割り込みタスク so I cannot pay too much attention to this project"

Literally translating it into "interrupting tasks" sounds rather vague, so how would a 割り込みタスク be defined?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

I'm not sure how common it is in general business Japanese, but 割り込みタスク isn't that out of place among lifehackers. It roughly means "unexpected work created by external factors".

Here are a few articles that use the word...

In lifehacking jargon, "interruptions" seems to be the corresponding term, though not exactly interchangeable (to be exact, interruptions = 割り込み, tasks created by interruptions = 割り込みタスク):

The point is, when you say 割り込みタスクが多い, the tasks themselves are interruptions to your coworker's planned work schedule, and that interruption has already happened. I think that's a more natural interpretation/transcription than "割り込タスクが多い" (tasks keep interrupting me).

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I think you misheard 割り込みタスク. 割り込みタスク or interrupting task is a technical term used in computer science: wikipedia. Although it is a technical term, its meaning does not differ much from what you can imagine if it were an ordinary phrase. I think your coworker has some knowledge about computers, and used it metaphorically. Other than as a technical term, the phrase 割り込みタスク would be too odd to be used.

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That's sound like

"I have got too many urgent tasks for today, so I cannot pay attention to this project"

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