I am starting a new project and have to come up with a name for it so that everybody knows what we are talking about.

The project is the renewal of an IT application that I will call エックスワイゼッド. Improving the existing software and adding a few features.

Can I call it エックスワイゼット更新プロジェクト ?

Is there a better word/expression?

I looked up on ALC and others but could not find. Your methodology for translating this kind of term would also interest me :-)

7 Answers 7


Yes, renewal (of a computer system/hardware/software) can be 更新. For example, the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) renewed their system in Jan. 2010, and the heading on the website of the news agency Kyodo News was:

東証、4日に新システム稼働 10年ぶり更新 (とうしょう、よっかにしんシステムかどう じゅうねんぶりこうしん) TSE to start a new system on (Jan.) 4th; the first renewal in ten years

Another candidate for the project name might be エックスワイゼッド新バージョン開発プロジェクト (the project for developing a new version of XYZ). Compared to エックスワイゼッド更新プロジェクト, this focuses on the development of the application program.

(By the way, this has nothing to do with the question itself, but the letter Z in the English alphabet is usually read as ゼット rather than ゼッド in Japanese.)

  • 2
    更新 is definitely the best word. 改善 usually also involves processes, so if you're changing a business process AND the piece of software running it, then maybe kaizen is better. But I like 更新
    – makdad
    Jun 8, 2011 at 11:57
  • @makdad: I am not sure whether 改善 usually involves processes. For example, it is usual to say 川の水質を改善する (かわのすいしつをかいぜんする; improve the water quality of a river): see e.g. this page. I think that 改善 implies that something was poor quality before the improvement, so it may or may not be suitable in Nicolas’s situation. Jun 9, 2011 at 21:09
  • yes, you are most certainly right in that regard. When I said "related to processes", I meant within the context of an IT department :)
    – makdad
    Jun 10, 2011 at 7:02

I am a software engineer.

If we will add a few new features or fix bugs, we use




If we will only update data, we use




「システム更新/システムを更新する」has a nuance replacing the whole system.

Personally, I think「改善プロジェクト」is used for some projects other than system development. 体質改善プロジェクト,食事改善プロジェクト,業務改善プロジェクト,etc.


I notice many bloggers use 更新 to refer to a blog update. In a project of larger scale and work of renewal it may seem inappropriate. So it might depend heavily on the degree of change and renewal you want to imply by the name.


When we are talking about Improving the existing software and adding a few features we usually use the term 再構築 saikouchiku, translated with Alc it becomes 'restructuring' but I'm guessing that is the meaning you are looking for.

  • 1
    That sounds like you are completely throwing away the old source code, and starting from scratch.
    – user458
    Jul 17, 2011 at 15:40

May be


Since 改善(かいぜん) has direct meaning of "improving the existing and adding new features"

  • I'm not sure 改善 is the right word to use in this context as it seems to be used most often for things like services provided by the government and environment-related improvements (sewage and air air quality and such) or other more "physical" and "tangible" improvements like roadwork. It feels weird to me to use 改善 for an IT project.
    – rcjsuen
    Jun 8, 2011 at 11:56

更新: Update

改修: replace certain parts (broken, old, or not working efficiently, etc) so that it works again or works better.

改新: Total replacement with new. I rarely see this word used by I think it fits the occasion (project renewal).

改革: reform. fix bad design, concept, idea, or way of doing things.


The word that we tend to use at your company is 更改{こうかい} which also translates to renewal.

  • 1
    Odd that none mentioned リニューアル which seems to be the most commonly used version at the company I'm working at.
    – Jeemusu
    Oct 26, 2012 at 7:27

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