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I have trouble understanding the difference between these two words.

Based on my understanding, 妥協 is when two parties reach a mutual agreement by sacrificing some of their needs or wants that oppose other party's.

It seems to me that すり合わせ means the same thing as 妥協 because it requires both parties to express their needs and wants to each other and find a common ground to reach settlement.

Am I misunderstanding something?

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Literally 妥協する is to compromise, where two parties have something in conflict. The conflict is substantial, there must be real negotiations generally. すり合わせる is more to adjust, where it has do with things being different.

As nouns, 妥協 is more about the fact of settling on something lesser. すり合わせ is more the negotiation itself.

So sometimes, the result of すり合わせ may be called 妥協, but generally 妥協 sounds more like one party (or both) really abandoning a part of its requirements while すり合わせ can be a simple adjustment.


For example, 予定をすり合わせる means to adjust each other's schedule. In most cases, I suppose people can do this without too much sacrificing. Note 予定をすり合わせる can be used also when there are no plans yet. In this case there is absolutely no sacrifice.

On the other hand, 予定を妥協する does not generally sound very natural. But if it is about a negotiation of purchase of some goods at enterprise level, 入荷予定を妥協する can sound natural, meaning (e.g.) the receiver accepts the goods being delivered later than expected.

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  • Thanks for the answer! What about 意見? 意見をすり合わせる is used if opinions of both parties are slightly different?
    – Jimmy Yang
    Apr 2 at 6:01
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    @JimmyYang Basically yes and can be used also when they don't know whether they really have different opinions. It is rather close to discussing. Another phrase used in business is 要件をすり合わせる which means the developer discusses with client exactly what functionalities should be implemented. The final settlement may be a 妥協 (e.g. lots of work for the dev and less functionalities for the client), but most often it is simply an agreement.
    – sundowner
    Apr 2 at 7:38

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