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I often confuse 妥協{だきょう}(compromise; giving in) and 歩み寄り{あゆみより}(compromise, concession). Can someone explain the differences, when to use one over the other?

It seems that there are a lot of other variants as well: 折衷{せっちゅう}、和解{わかい}、譲歩{じょうほ}、折{お}り合{あ}い、互譲{ごじょう}、着地点{ちゃくちてん}, etc. Would be great to get some details on those words as well.

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These words or phrase are so similar that even a native Japanese speaker could confuse their meanings. However, there are a few differences between these words:

  • 妥協 "compromise"

    Usually, 妥協 is based on a unilateral view from a person or group and suggests some kind of dissatisfaction.

    私はその契約には納得いかなかったが、予算から考えて妥協せざるを得なかった。

  • 歩み寄り "compromise"

    This word is based on a bilateral view from multiple people or parties.

    私はその契約ははじめは納得できなかったが、向こう側からの歩み寄りもあり結局その契約を結んだ。

  • 折衷 "combination"

    This word doesn't mean "compromise", and it is also a little archaic. Native Japanese speakers usually don't use it.

    和洋折衷 (This phrase is almost a proverb at this point.)

  • 和解 "peacemaking" / "mutual understanding"

    This word is more formal and objective than 歩み寄り. It originally meant ending a war, quarrel, or fight by peaceful ways.

    かつてその国は内戦状態であったが現在は和解が成立している。

  • 譲歩 "compromise"

    This word is more formal than 歩み寄り, and more subjective than 和解 (but it doesn't mean "peacemaking").

    双方の譲歩により金融危機は免れた。

  • 互譲 "compromise"

    This word is very similar to 譲歩. However, it is an archaic expression and usually is not used.

  • 着地点 "result by mutual understanding"

    This word is similar to 妥協.

    結局のところ、この案が着地点になりそうだ。

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    「(両者の)折衷案」というフレーズはまだ普通に使いますね。ほぼ慣用句でしか使わない、という点には同意ですが。 – naruto Nov 13 '14 at 10:38
  • 折衷はもはや一般的な会話で使われる言葉ではなくある限られた言い回しのみで登場する言葉となっていますね・・・ – Asano Ryo Nov 13 '14 at 13:35
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    いつもかってに編集しているんですが、何かミスをしたのなら、遠慮なく戻してください。 – Darius Jahandarie Nov 13 '14 at 19:05
  • いえいえこちらこそ私の拙い英語をいつも訂正していただきありがとうございます – Asano Ryo Nov 14 '14 at 8:56

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