I've been trying to figure out how to say something like:

"I'd like to familiarise myself with XXX before the meeting so do you have any information that you can pass me before hand." (I.e. I have an agenda, but it's the first time I am interacting with the project so I don't know what the project is. I am asking for an overview of the project)

For "familiarise" the only thing I could find was 慣れ親しむ{なれしたしむ}, but I'm not sure if it's natural or not.

So my sentence would be:


Any comments / improvements?

2 Answers 2


ssb's answer explains how 慣れ親しむ is unsuitable here pretty well, so I'll just list up some more expressions you can use.

Treat "to familiarize oneself beforehand" as a single concept:


  • 予習する: to prep

Breakdown the notion of "to familiarize oneself" into several words:


  • 概要: overview
  • 把握: grasp, understand

Combination of the above:


  • 予備知識: background knowledge
  • 仕入れる: get (by extension of "buy", "stock up on")


慣れ親しむ in this case is an understandable mistake, but 慣れる is to be familiar in the sense of being used to something, and 親しむ is familiar in the sense of familiarizing yourself with a friend, a word used generally with relationships. Apparently I could be wrong on this, but 共有 as a word means "share" in the sense of joint ownership rather than the English sense of letting someone know something. Checking Alc shows that you can use it in the sense of sharing files, though.

My version says something more along the lines of "I want to know what the meeting will be about beforehand, so if there are any documents (info) could you please let me see?"

  • Thanks for the response. It makes sense. (Though in this case I have an agenda for the meeting so I know the topics but its about a project I am not familiar with so I was asking for information about the project, question edited)
    – paullb
    Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 10:41
  • I have to disagree with your opinion about 共有. I see it used all the time in business in terms of share information. e.g. 情報を共有する
    – paullb
    Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 10:42
  • Your example sentence sounds a little rough to me. I'd say 内容を調べておきたい instead of 知りたい, and 見せていただいたらありがたいです. But maybe that's just me.
    – istrasci
    Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 15:02
  • paullb: Ah, really? I guess I haven't seen enough business correspondence then. istrasci: When I checked with a native I got approval, although of course I am not a native so you could be right.
    – ssb
    Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 23:41
  • ssb: It could easily just be personal preference. I know a few of the Japanese employees at my previous company would regularly say [information etc]を共有してください
    – paullb
    Commented Oct 26, 2012 at 1:36

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