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Speaking Japanese at Work

Thanks to the global nature of many Japanese businesses today, using Japanese at work is quickly becoming a primary reason for people to learn Japanese. Whether you're looking for a job in a Japanese-speaking country or just need to talk with coworkers there, you'll need to know some key words and phrases to help ease your way.

Equipment and supplies

Use the following words to describe typical office equipment and supplies. The following words will come in handy in most business settings.

pen (pen)
enpitsu (pencil)
tsukue (desk)
isu (chair)
pasokon (computer)
jimusho (office)
nōto (notebook)
uebusaito (Web site)
mēru (e‑mail)

Meetings

You'll need to know the following words when scheduling meetings.

yakusoku (appointment)
tenpu (attachment)
kaigi (conference)
shimekiri (deadline)
mitsumori (estimate)
uchiawase (meeting)
teian (proposal)
hanashi-au (to discuss)
kaiketsu suru (to solve)

People at work

There are many ways to refer to other people you work with. One of the most common is by job title.

shachō (president)
buchō (general manager)
kachō (manager)
jōshi (boss)
dōryō (colleague)
buka (subordinate)
hisho (secretary)

On-the-job phrases

Try putting some of these terms together into some phrases that might come in handy at the office.

  • Ni-ji ni denwa kaigi o shimasu. (We're going to have a conference call at 2 o'clock.)

  • Pen to nōto o karitemo ii desu ka. (May I borrow a pen and notebook?)

  • Kami o ichi-mai kudasai. (Give me a piece of paper, please.)

  • Kaigishitsu wa doko desu ka. (Where is the conference room?)

  • Ano hito wa Yamada-san desu ka. (Is that person Mr. Yamada?)

  • Purintā ga koshō shite imasu. (The printer isn't working.)

  • Kore o kopī shite kudasai. (Please make a copy of this.)

  • Mēru o okutte kudasai. (Send me an e-mail.)

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