What may be the difference between the usage of チャンス and 機会 ?

For example:

1) これは機会だぜ!

2) これはチャンスだぜ!

  • 1
    Have you ever heard/seen anyone using これは機会だぜ? As I told you before, asking “difference” between a correct and an incorrect usages is not a good practice. If you made up the sentence これは機会だぜ, you should be more careful distinguishing real examples and made-up examples in a question. Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 15:08
  • ok i'll keep that in mind while asking questions in the future
    – Pacerier
    Commented Jul 9, 2011 at 8:45

2 Answers 2


Do really people say "これは機会だぜ!"? I doubt it…

While you do say "これはチャンスだ" to mean "it's now or never", "just do it!", "go for it!" and other once-in-a-life-time opportunities, I think that "機会" is a much more usual opportunity, less outstanding situations. You would use 機会 to say "Since everyone is here, this is the opportunity to discuss the frobnication of frobnickers", or "I had the opportunity to meet her mother at the local supermarket." Nothing to write home about, just a simple description of the situation.

Also, by チャンス being a word of foreign roots, and 機会 a compound word, it is likely that the former is more colloquial than the latter. I also wonder whether 機会 isn't, statistically speaking, used to refer about an event in the past, while チャンス would be used to talk about some opportunity still to take.

(If you say "これはアタックチャンスだ!" do not forget to clench your fist and wave it doing circular motions in front of you)

  • interesting, i have seen the opposite with chance being the more colloquial and kikai being more formal. Though i will agree with you on kikai being used like a boring opportunity. Frobnication! great word Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 7:32
  • @Mark: hum, maybe my wording was bad, as we seem to agree. I'll try to fix it.
    – Axioplase
    Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 9:16
  • btw In "This is a one-in-a-life-time opportunity to go to antartica" will we use 機会 or チャンス ?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 9:38
  • @Pacerier: チャンス。 It's exactly the kind of example I gave, isn't it?
    – Axioplase
    Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 10:03

As pointed out, for your examples チャンス would be more suitable. Although it seems more natural to me to use 「が」or even 「こそ」.

これ が/こそ チャンスだ! → This is your chance!

Also, 機会 has nothing to do with past or present.

If you want to expand your vocabulary, there are lots of other options to use for "chance/opportunity", although the context may vary somewhat.

  • [好機]{こう・き}: a good opportunity; [好機到来]{こう・き・とう・らい}: when a good opportunity comes around / presents itself.

    好機を[逃]{のが}す → Miss a good chance

  • きっかけ/[契機]{けい・き}: a chance, opportunity; a starting/turning point.

    テレビの故障をきっかけに、読書を趣味にした → When the TV broke (turning point), she took up reading as a hobby.

  • [折]{おり}: a chance, opportunity

    こちらにお出掛けの折には,お立ち寄りください → If you have a chance to come this way / When you are in the area, please drop by.

  • [千載一遇]{せん・ざい・いち・ぐう}: a golden opportunity; chance of a lifetime; 「千年に一度しかめぐりあえないほどまれな機会」: often used in conjunction with チャンス or 好機 (千載一遇の好機)

    この役はその女優にとって千載一遇のチャンスである → This role is a golden opportunity / the chance of a lifetime for the actress.

  • [一期一会]{いち・ご・いち・え}: a once-in-a-lifetime chance; a special occasion

    彼女は何事にも一期一会の心で[臨]{のぞ}む → She does everything as if it were a once-in-a-lifetime chance / a special occasion.

  • when you say 機会 has anything to do with past or present. do you mean チャンス cannot be used for "past" things?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Jul 9, 2011 at 8:48

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