A desk is a desk, but is there any important difference between the two words for "table"? Here is what the wwwjdic says:

卓 【たく; しょく】table; desk; (たく only) counter for tables, desks

机 【つくえ】 desk

テーブル table


1 Answer 1


There are several common compounds that include 卓 (e.g., 食卓, 卓上, ...), but 卓 as a standalone noun is uncommon. As a starter, you can stick to テーブル in almost all the cases where you want to say table.

In modern Japanese, 卓 as a standalone noun is used:

  • as part of a few set expressions like 卓を囲む (テーブルを囲む is equally common, though)
  • as a rare and highly stiff equivalent of テーブル, when you want to avoid loanwords for some reason
  • as jargon meaning "counter" or "booth"; for example, a place like this is sometimes called 卓 in media-related industries:

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