I heard Japanese speaker correcting himself from 面会 to 対面. Edit: The actual phrase was 「二人が 面会 対面をした時に・・・」

He was referring to a meeting of two people one-on-one in a casual setting, but still relations of the two were official.

What would be the difference between these two words? What could be the purpose of the correction?


面会 : interview. visitation.

対面 : face to face.

対面する : face.

I think 面会 is not wrong, but 面会 is sometimes used to explain a visitation in a hospital or in a prison.

I would use 差しで会った。, but probably this is informal way to explain.

  • Thank you. Seeing your reply, I remembered more. The phrase was 「二人が対面した時に…」 If the subject were two people as in the example, does the 面会した suggest that they met/visited a third person and 対面した was a meeting between them two? – macraf Sep 8 '15 at 10:50
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    「会った」is the most general way to say "meet." So, if this is not used, there should be a slight difference. 「二人が対面した時に…」means "When two faced each other,". In my opinion, the two should concentrate on each other, and it is ok to use it even when there is a third person, but the speaker does not care about them. I found something like「不仲の噂される Messi と Ronaldo がサッカーの試合直前に対面したが、談笑していた。(They say Messi and Ronaldo hate each other, but they face just before the game and talked cheerfully.)」on web. – Keita ODA Sep 12 '15 at 21:03
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    「二人が面会した時に…」means "When two met,". In my opinion, 面会 requires some processes like a reservation or an approval. And, I said "sometimes used to ... in a hospital or in a prison", but I should say mostly. I searched it on web and the first page was made of a dictionary, a court and hospitals. kotobank.jp/word/%E9%9D%A2%E4%BC%9A-644517 According to デジタル大辞泉, 面会: meet a special person or meet in a special place. 対面: often used when they first meet or after a long time no see. 面接: Meet personally to ask questions. I think they point out good points. – Keita ODA Sep 12 '15 at 21:15

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