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Just to add some context to this question: I graduated with a B.A. last June, and am currently taking a two-year break from education to work off some of the inordinate amount of debt I accumulated in my first four years.

What's the best way to describe this type of situation in Japanese? 休【やす】む? 休憩【きゅうけい】? Something else entirely?

Your help is much appreciated.

Related: Is this the correct way of saying attending a school?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Note: this is changed from my original answer (一時停止), which sawa pointed out to be unnatural for this situation.

休み and 休憩 should be okay for your purposes, as should 休学 (suggested by sawa) which specifically refers to time off from school. Take care to explain the situation as you have done here in English, or it may sound as though you are a current student who is taking time off.

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一時停止 means "pause (every activity)". It is unnatural to use it in this way. There is no problem using 休 here. If you are concerned of what you write, you can make it specific like 休学 (which means to officially take an off). – user458 Apr 24 '12 at 12:34
@sawa Whoops, thanks for the correction. In that case I will delete this answer soon, but would you like to copy-paste your comment to your own answer first? – ジョン Apr 24 '12 at 12:38
But the word 休学 means to officially take off from school while still being a student, and I am not sure if it is the right word for the situation asked. In other words, I do not have my own answer. You can leave your answer or delete without worrying about my comment. – user458 Apr 24 '12 at 12:44
@sawa Thanks for the thoughts. 休学【きゅうがく】 seems fine for my situation, given that I am most definitely planning to continue my education. =) – rintaun Apr 24 '12 at 13:50
I have edited my answer substantially with a view to keeping incorrect information off of JLU. I hope this is okay with everyone. – ジョン Apr 24 '12 at 14:04

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