I want to write an essay with the title “Difference between Hard Work and Smart Work”.

  • By “hard work”, I mean continuing the work with old ideas without thinking up new ideas, and working all the time to solve a problem.
  • By “smart work”, I mean innovating new ideas and trying to solve a problem within a short period of time.

Would 「重労働とスマートな仕事の相違点」 be the correct way to express this in Japanese?

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    I think the two concepts can be expressed as 懸命に取り組む and 要領よく取り組む – Flaw Jul 5 '12 at 13:29
  • @Flaw Thanks,I also think it can be.If a better answer than this expression(懸命に取り組む and 要領よく取り組む) does not appear in two days,I might use this expression. – Nyein Nyein Chan Chan Jul 6 '12 at 2:11
  • For the record, I have never heard of the phrase "Smart Work". Is that a local term? – Chris Jul 6 '12 at 19:05

重労働 usually means “hard physical work,” so it is not appropriate here unless you are talking about physical work. Also, some people may have difficulty understanding what スマートな労働 means at all, because スマート used to mean “slender” instead of “smart.” (But this may not be a big problem anymore because it seems that the latter meaning is becoming more popular recently, as in スマートフォン and スマートカード.)

I might translate the title as 懸命に働くことと賢く働くことの違い, but I am not good at translation.

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  • I realized what the problem was, the English should have been The Difference Between Working Hard and Working Smart (which is what your translation reflects) and not Difference between Hard Work and Smart Work, there is a difference between the two. – Jesse Good Jul 6 '12 at 4:56
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    @Jesse Good: I did not know that “hard work” and “smart work” are already established (buzz)words, not words introduced in the essay. After learning this, your answer makes much more sense now. I do not think that it makes any difference whether it is “hard word and smart work” or “working hard and working smart”; if I am not mistaken, both are buzzwords meaning the same notions. – Tsuyoshi Ito Jul 6 '12 at 11:59

"to work hard" and "to work smart" I think can be expressed with 懸命に取り組む and 要領よく取り組む.

The corresponding nouns would be 懸命に取り組むこと and 要領よく取り組むこと.

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I would make it into カタカナ and add parenthetical explanations:


EDIT My original translation was based on the English "Difference between Hard Work and Smart Work", which are using two buzzwords, not the sentence The Difference Between Working Hard and Working Smart.

"Hard Work" means work the requires a lot of effort in English, so if you use "Hard Work" to mean something different, you have to add and explanation. Also, "Smart Work" is a buzzword which can mean different things.

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  • Random downvote, any explanation? – Jesse Good Jul 6 '12 at 4:25
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    Although the combination of a loanword and a parenthesized explanation is not uncommon, I personally find it annoying. It looks like “ハードワーク (I assume you understand this loanword, but in case you are too stupid to understand it, here is what it means: 非効率的な働き方)” to me. – Tsuyoshi Ito Jul 6 '12 at 4:26
  • But, your version is wrong. 懸命に働く does not express the meaning Without thinking new ideas continue the work with old ideas. – Jesse Good Jul 6 '12 at 4:27
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    Even if my answer is wrong (although I do not think so), that has nothing to do with my comment. – Tsuyoshi Ito Jul 6 '12 at 4:30
  • By the way, my comments are not a reply to your comment asking for an explanation of a downvote. – Tsuyoshi Ito Jul 6 '12 at 4:31

No. スマート does not mean "smart". It means "skinny". Your sentence means totally different thing. Actually, it is not clear what "skinny jobs" mean.

I do not know exactly what you intend, but if you are comparing physical labor and labor that requires intelligence, it is 肉体労働と頭脳労働の相違点.

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  • @Sawa sorry for incomplete question, I updated the question. – Nyein Nyein Chan Chan Jul 5 '12 at 15:27
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    +1ing for random downvotes. – Jesse Good Jul 6 '12 at 10:16
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    I do not agree that スマート does not mean "smart," although I think that this is a recent usage. – Tsuyoshi Ito Jul 6 '12 at 10:35
  • @TsuyoshiIto I am aware of the word スマートフォン, but that was borrowed as a single word. It is not the case that Japanese had two borrowed words スマート (with the relevant sense) and フォン and they were combined within Japanese. – user458 Jul 6 '12 at 12:05

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