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In English, when we say someone is "talking shop", we mean that they are having a conversation about a particular trade or skill that they're familiar with (usually because it's their profession), with someone else who is equally familiar with it. In this kind of conversation people use the language they normally would while working (i.e. they wouldn't use layman's terms or dumb-down their word choice like they would when talking to someone outside the profession). When people are talking shop, it is (by definition) rather hard to understand by someone who doesn't know about said profession.

Is there anything similar to "talking shop" in Japanese, while keeping the slangy tone?

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What does that mean in English? –  istrasci Aug 28 '12 at 17:41
please give an example or context. also lang-8 or are good for these type of questions. –  yadokari Aug 28 '12 at 17:57
I've never heard of "talking shop", is that a phrase used in a specific area or region? –  Chris Harris Aug 28 '12 at 20:54
The Urban Dictionary definition of "talking shop" is here –  Oleg Levy Aug 29 '12 at 4:17
@Chris: Been around for a long time and still current. –  Tim Aug 29 '12 at 6:32

3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

No, there isn't. You will have to think of an alternative. For example:



A and B are always talking shop (talking about work).



These two are talking shop.

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The tatoeba project confirms it (the example about the doctors). –  Ataraxia Aug 28 '12 at 21:48

I just found a word meaning shop talk:


It can also mean: matters incomprehensible to outsiders, inside joke, private joke

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As you said, 楽屋落ち means an inside joke, and it is different from a shop talk. (落ち means a punchline of a joke.) –  Tsuyoshi Ito Dec 7 '12 at 18:53
@TsuyoshiIto the site says it also means shop talk –  Ataraxia Dec 7 '12 at 18:57
I see, but then the site is wrong. 楽屋落ち only means an inside joke. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Dec 7 '12 at 20:26
@TsuyoshiIto that you know of, but who knows. I'd be interested to see what other users have to say. –  Ataraxia Dec 9 '12 at 3:46
落ち means a punchline of a joke (as I said), and 楽屋落ち is a special kind of 落ち. But if you do not follow this logic, then it is fine for me. Who cares. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Dec 9 '12 at 3:54

How about 専門談義{せんもんだんぎ}?

  • 専門: speciality, professional
  • 談義: discourse, preachment, conversation

It's not exactly a slang, but not listed in a dictionary either. Its connotation can be positive, neutral or negative, depending on the context and the following predicate.


Two doctors were talking shop.

By changing the first half of the compound, you can be specific about which field, but may lose the 'professionally related' aspect:


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