I was reading 二銭銅貨 from 江戸川乱歩, and the words 給料 and 賃金 occurred :


I understand 給料日 as the "pay day", or the day the worker receive their salary.


In that sentence, 賃銀 is the old form of 賃金.

What I don't understand is the difference between 給料 and 賃金 in that context. My dictionary both translate them as "salary".


Subjectively, my sense is that [賃金]{ちんぎん} is closer in nuance to the English term wages (money paid for a specific unit of work, not necessarily ongoing), while [給料]{きゅうりょう} is closer to salary (money paid for a specific unit of time, usually as part of an ongoing contract). Much as in English, I've seen a certain amount of overlap between these two. That said, I'm not a native speaker of Japanese, and I may have gotten the wrong end of the stick at some point.

User aguijonazo also commented:

I agree with @EiríkrÚtlendi. And [賃金]{ちんぎん} sounds more technical. It is used in such terms as [賃金交渉]{ちんぎんこうしょう} (between employers and unions), [賃金水準]{ちんぎんすいじゅん} (of a particular industry, country, etc.), [賃金未払い]{ちんぎんみはらい}, etc. It is not commonly used for individual payments nowadays, not least by those on the receiving side.

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