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At work, I would naturally use the above line as a transition. What equivalent phrases can I use in Japanese?

I could come up only with a quite literal translation:

真面目に言うと

4 Answers 4

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「[真面目]{まじめ}に[言]{い}うと」

is not really the equivalent of "on a more serious note" in that the former cannot be used to introduce a new topic, which is what the latter is used for.

「真面目に言うと」 can only be used when you want to describe in a more serious manner the same thing that you have just described jokingly or half-jokingly.

If you want to move on from a non-serious topic to a rather serous one, you could say:

「(もう[少]{すこ}し or もっと or ちょっと)真面目な[話]{はなし}をすると

or

「(もう少し or もっと or ちょっと)真面目な[話題]{わだい}に[変]{か}えると」

You could use 「シリアスな」 instead of 「真面目な」 with no problems.

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  • Appreciate it, thanks for coming back on the details.
    – Aki
    Jul 15, 2016 at 16:10
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I like the expression "それより" which has the nuance of "more importantly..."

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真面目な話
マジな話 (slangy)

実に for this meaning is too old fashioned. I only see it in novels written in several decades ago.

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Jitsu ni.

Informally speaking.

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