ビジネス日本語. The use of Japanese in the workplace.

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22
votes
3answers
69k views

When is it appropriate to use お疲れ様 (otsukaresama)?

I know the general meaning of using お疲れ様です/でした to express gratitude for some work, but I'm a bit fuzzy about appropriate times to use it. I know it is a common saying when leaving for the day, and I'...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

How should I start an email when requesting something from someone I don't know well?

In English, there is a certain etiquette to follow when writing a business letter. From what I've seen so far, the same seems to be true in Japanese as well. If I was making a business-related ...
17
votes
1answer
3k views

How do I politely ask my boss for a moment of his time?

My boss is a native Japanese speaker. In English, when I have a question or an issue to bring up, I can ask "Do you have a minute?" to see if it is an appropriate time to interrupt them. In Japanese,...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Business Japanese: what's the proper way to say “please visit [this URL]”?

I'm writing a business e-mail to a Japanese speaking person, and I need to direct them to a certain URL. In English I would write "please visit http://www.example.com". I'm not sure the best way to ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

How would I respectfully disagree with a superior?

If my manager says something that I know to be factually incorrect, how can I point that out without sounding disrespectful? (Is ~違います appropriate in this context or is that too strong?) Is this a ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

How to say: “I am returning your call”

Title says it all! If somebody called and left a message, when calling them back, is there a set expression for that? I generally just use "さっきにお電話頂いた...", but wondering if there is a more idiomatic ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the correct usage of 承知しました, 了解です and かしこまりました, the more formal forms of 分かる?

At work, it is wrong to simply say 分かる to say that you understand something. In what situation should I opt to use one of the previously mentioned forms?
12
votes
7answers
496 views

IT system renewal: Can I say 更新 for “renewal”?

I am starting a new project and have to come up with a name for it so that everybody knows what we are talking about. The project is the renewal of an IT application that I will call エックスワイゼッド. ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

At work, when is it not ok to finish an email with どうぞよろしくお願いします?

Whenever I communicate with my Japanese coworkers, I always finish my emails with どうぞよろしくお願いします。I guess in the context of an email in English it could be akin to saying "Cheers" "Regards", so I unless ...
12
votes
2answers
526 views

Should I use keigo in this situation:

I work in an American subsidiary of a Japanese company. I met a few Japanese colleagues while working at the home office on an exchange. Do I need to use Keigo for: Colleague A: 1 year younger in age ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Ways to end a phone conversation

Despite its being one of the most basic element of daily-life Japanese, I often find myself looking for a proper way to end certain phone conversations. Of course, I know the standard: [それでは]失礼します, ...
11
votes
1answer
709 views

usage of「ご迷惑をおかけ・・・」variants for a business apology

I have to apologize for a procedural error at work, and am unsure about selecting the right form of apology from the variants of 「ご迷惑をおかけ・・・」: 1.「ご迷惑【めいわく】をおかけして申【もう】し訳【わけ】ございません。」 2.「ご迷惑【めいわく】...
10
votes
5answers
666 views

What to say when leaving the table before everybody else?

For example, while having lunch with your coworkers and you have to attend some matter soon, what would be a natural way to leave the table? I think that in this case saying お先に失礼します would be wrong.
10
votes
3answers
1k views

What are common mistakes made by Japanese kombini employees speaking “manual keigo” (バイト敬語)

Mainly inspired by this question on what seems to be the misuse of a standard idiom by a Japanese employee, I was reminded of being told about バイト敬{けい}語{ご} ("manual keigo") in the past: a slightly ...
10
votes
1answer
114 views

Has the meaning of “revenge” been lost in translation to リベンジ?

I can see リベンジ used often in internal business communication for "2nd attempt" (like リベンジ判定会議 or リベンジ提案). Wikipedia also suggests it bears the meaning of 「再挑戦」の意味でも使われる。 Would it be acceptable to use ...
9
votes
2answers
535 views

What's the word to use for “confidential”, as in a company report?

I'm preparing a sales presentation; it contains some company data and I want to indicate that the entire presentation is confidential. In English, this would likely be accomplished by stamping the ...
9
votes
2answers
954 views

How to answer someone else's phone?

I am in a Japanese office setup sitting next to my boss. He often gets phone calls but most of the time he is not in his seat. How do I answer his phone say that "This is Mr. XX's seat and this is YY (...
8
votes
2answers
185 views

Which is better for a sales budget: 予算, 推計, or something I haven't even thought of yet?

I'm writing a short (3-5 page) business plan in Japanese. I'd like to include an "estimate" of the sales for the next 3 years. The question: what would you choose for the graph titled: 2012 ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How do you politely apologize to a professor for unintentional rudeness?

I received an email from a new professor in my department asking for a native English speaker's check of his paper. Since no one had ever asked me to check their English before, whereas I had ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Does the (USA) English metaphor “Unable to see the forest for the trees” keep its meaning if translated verbatim into Japanese?

The phrase "Unable to see the forest for the trees" implies one is too entangled in a situation to understand what is transpiring from a larger context, and thus, unable to determine the correct ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How should I bid farewell to a superior?

My boss is leaving soon after years of service. What would be a good way for me to express my gratitude for all of his guidance and help? I am somewhat familiar with the expression お世話になりました but am ...
7
votes
3answers
136 views

difference between 打ち合わせ and 会議 and ミーティング

What's the difference between 打ち合わせ and 会議 and ミーティング? To me it seems that 会議 may be more formal, but I'm not entirely sure.
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Hierarchy of management titles in Japanese companies

In typical Japanese companies, all managers have a title defining where they stand in the hierarchy, for instance 課長 and 部長, both of which can be translated as "section chief", so sometimes it is hard ...
7
votes
2answers
161 views

How to say “100% virus free”?

In English we put the following phrases below software we want customers to download to put their mind at ease (for example, a neat weather app). ✓100% virus free ✓Contains no malware ✓Contains no ...
7
votes
1answer
158 views

Capitalized letters in juridical documents - into Japanese

When translating some juridical text, I meet words, that are written in capitalized letters, or at least only first letter is capitalized. Should I transmit it somehow into Japanese, when translating? ...
7
votes
2answers
207 views

Use of non-polite form between Japanese companies

I'm reading the novel 下町ロケット now and one part that really surprised me is when several of the members from one company speak to members of the other company without using 敬語 (for example "やめた方がいいよ”). ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How to reply to a business email with “yes, I'm ok with this time frame”?

So I received an email from one of our suppliers who aims to visit my company and have a meeting with me, the main part of it is 12月5日(金)13時以降にご都合は如何でしょうか? Now, I am fine with the mentioned date/...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

When asking for holidays, should I be more polite than usual?

I saw an colleague's email asking for a few days of vacation, and I was surprised by the ultra-polite level. This colleague is usually on relatively casual terms with the boss, so it was quite ...
6
votes
1answer
262 views

How should I respond to a client after receiving materials?

A client sent some materials and I have to respond, so I want to give a quick thank you acknowledging that I have received the materials and will email again once I have reviewed them. (It's always ...
6
votes
1answer
159 views

A department in a company where unproductive employees are transferred to instead of being fired

At the job fair for college students some presenters jokingly mentioned a Japanese drama in which a company had a special department full of incompetent or inefficient employees. The company had ...
6
votes
2answers
186 views

What is the difference between 指摘される and 突っ込まれる?

I always get this two whenever I make a mistake. I think that more or less they are similar but kind of have the feeling that 突っ込まれる has a bit stronger meaning than 指摘される, is this correct? For ...
6
votes
1answer
152 views

「スケジュール感をすり合わせましょう」 - what exactly are we going to discuss?

When I first received an invitation to a meeting containing words similar to 「スケジュール感をすり合わせましょう」 I thought we are going to discuss the schedule so that "everyone is on the same page". The schedule ...
6
votes
2answers
579 views

How are Japanese company division, section or department names translated?

How are Japanese company division, section or department names usually translated to English e.g. 「システム開発1部ソリューション1課」? Does it translate it to System Development Department 1 Solution Section 1?
5
votes
3answers
609 views

Saying “you're welcome” at the workplace

There are a few ways to say "You're welcome". Which is the best for somebody in the workplace (inside and outside the team and of about the same level as myself) どういたしまして いいえ いえいえ others?
5
votes
1answer
989 views

How to turn down a job offer

I recently received a job offer from a company, say X会社. However, I would like to turn down their offer as I have some opportunity at my current place of employment. How can I express this in a ...
5
votes
1answer
195 views

Asking “What is the size of the file?”

I am discussing via email about a file, and I want to ask "What is the size of the file?" Here is my try: サイズは何ですか? I realize it sounds weird though, and サイズはどのぐらいですか? might sound better but I am ...
5
votes
1answer
256 views

Specialized banking/credit card vocabulary

I recently found myself in a situation where I had to attempt customer service over the phone in Japanese and I got tripped up on some terminology that I've never encountered before. Most of it had to ...
4
votes
2answers
162 views

Pronunciation of 締 in 月末締/翌月末払

If I understood well, 月末締/翌月末払 means "close the deal before end of a given month then get payment before end of the following month" Is the pronunciation "げつまつしめ よくげつはらい" I am especially unsure ...
4
votes
2answers
160 views

The finer points of the word 代理店

I'm trying to understand what the nuances of the term 代理店 as it is used in business communications. For example, if a 卸会社 tells a 販売店 their products are available for resale, however they are not ...
4
votes
1answer
241 views

“Business” email letter opening when their signed name is their language center?

How do I respond and open the letter when they're signing their emails with their language center name instead of their "person"-name? They close with "「x」センター" Thanks!
4
votes
2answers
239 views

入社 equivalent for a research internship

When writing in some formal Japanese CV (学歴/職歴), it is common to be asked to put each job/university/etc. on a single dated line, with a second line to indicate when one quit/graduated/dropped-out/etc....
4
votes
1answer
68 views

〇〇さん「は・が」いらっしゃいますか?

I found this sentence on https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E3%81%84%E3%82%89%E3%81%A3%E3%81%97%E3%82%83%E3%82%8B and it struck me as odd. 山田【やまだ】さんがいらっしゃいますでしょうか。 Listening to my co-workers (...
4
votes
1answer
40k views

How to say "Please direct all your future correspondence to _email_?

Soon I am leaving my job and I would like to leave an e-mail for future correspondence with my colleagues. How do I write in Japanese something like "Please direct all your future correspondence to my ...
4
votes
1answer
90 views

Meaning of タッグでやる

According to Wikipedia, a tag team is a two-person team of which only one person plays at a time. Speaking of a long-length work project, 小林 says: 田中とタッグでやる。 Is there any nuance difference with ...
3
votes
3answers
281 views

Is there a non-katakana word for “cash flow”?

If you look up "cash flow" in most dictionaries, it seems the concept is expressed in katakana, キャッシュフロー. However, I was speaking with a Japanese person earlier, and the term was not immediately ...
3
votes
1answer
682 views

When speaking with client, how to say “I will tell my coworker”

I have found this in a phone usage manual (電話対応マニュアル) written by a Japanese person: かしこまりました。必ず田中に申し伝えます。それでは失礼いたします。 (speaking to customer over the phone) Understood. I will tell Tanaka (my ...
3
votes
2answers
194 views

Why is the phrase ご連絡申しあげます linguistially correct?

I assume ご連絡申しあげます and ご連絡を申しあげます have the same meaning, but differ in style. I use them interchangeably below. This question is not about existence of を unless it was relevant to understanding the ...
3
votes
3answers
255 views

How do I properly tell someone to proceed with a transaction in an email?

Today, I received the following email after an online purchase: この度はご注文いただき誠にありがとうございます。 頂きましたご注文の発送方法について、EMS(国際スピード郵便)による配送となりますので、 送料が1,500円かかります。 よろしければ、クレジット決済金額の変更をし、商品を発送いたします。 ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

Translation of “I am in college because of work”

I am in college because of work. What I mean by that is that I want to say that I am in college due to some work, like as a guest for a lecture. I attended college for some work I had with the ...
3
votes
1answer
166 views

How do you politely ask permission to deviate from received instructions?

After I agreed to proofread a professor's 論文, he instructed me to print out a hard copy and write edits on it in red, as well as send him the Word document back with my edits done on the original file....