As i am learning Japanese,there are many words which have same meaning but still different usage,links to understand these differences would be appreciated.thanks!

1 Answer 1


Both are translated to "operation" but have completely different meanings.

  • 運用: "operation" as opposed to "development/test (phase)". It means actually running your system in production (and monitoring its status, replacing broken parts, etc). 稼働 is similar.

    The system is currently in operation.

  • 操作: "operation" as a stiffer equivalent of "use". Mainly used with gadgets such as キーボード (keyboard) and スマホ (smartphone). 使用 is similar.

    to learn how to operate the system

Try to find a decent dictionary (preferably a monolingual one)!

  • Would 'managed larger-scale operation' vs. 'small-scale simple operation' be an appropriate way to describe the difference?
    – BJCUAI
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 4:39
  • 1
    +1. Just wanted to add more information. In regular usage, 運用 is running a facility (e.g. port, airport, factory etc.) vs 操作 is operation/manipulation of a machine (e.g. crane, electrical tool, etc.).
    – DXV
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 4:47

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