Essential Business-Related Japanese Vocabulary for Foreign Professionals

Business-related Japanese vocabulary, Japanese language for foreign professionals, Effective communication in Japan, Business etiquette in Japan, Japanese business vocabulary, Language barriers in Japan, Language proficiency in Japan, English education in Japan, Business communication skills, Building relationships in Japan, Navigating meetings and negotiations in Japan, Business correspondence in Japanese, Business meetings and presentations in Japan, Networking in Japan, Negotiating and reaching agreements in Japan

Effective communication is crucial in today’s globalized business environment when entering new markets. Foreign professionals and businesses can benefit from Japan’s advanced technology, strong consumer base, and vibrant economy. Foreign professionals in Japan need a language barrier. Business is conducted in Japanese, so knowing business-related Japanese vocabulary is crucial for building relationships, negotiating, and navigating the local market.

Japan Language Proficiency

Understanding Japan’s language landscape illuminates the importance of language bridges. The 2019 EF English Proficiency Index placed Japan in the “low proficiency” band at 53rd out of 100 countries. This shows that Japanese English proficiency still needs to improve.

99.2% of people in Japan have Japanese as their first language.

Japanese schools require English education, but reading and writing are prioritized over conversational skills. The general population, including professionals, has limited English proficiency. The Japanese Ministry of Education is improving English-language education, but the country still lags behind many Asian and developed nations in English proficiency.

Language and Business

Foreign professionals entering Japan may need help with language barriers. It also offers a chance for those willing to study Japanese. Foreign professionals can gain a competitive edge and strengthen relationships with Japanese partners, clients, and customers by showing they understand and respect the local language and culture.

Foreign professionals can navigate meetings, negotiations, marketing campaigns, and financial discussions by understanding essential business-related Japanese vocabulary. It helps them communicate, understand local business practices, and tailor their strategies to the Japanese market.

Looking for ways on overcoming the laguage barrier? Check here.

1. おはようございます (Ohayou gozaimasu) – Good morning
2. こんにちは (Konnichiwa) – Hello/Good afternoon
3. ありがとうございます (Arigatou gozaimasu) – Thank you
4. すみません (Sumimasen) – Excuse me/I’m sorry
5. お願いします (Onegaishimasu) – Please
6. 失礼します (Shitsurei shimasu) – Excuse me/Goodbye (when leaving)
7. お疲れ様です (Otsukaresama desu) – Good job/Thank you for your hard work
8. よろしくお願いします (Yoroshiku onegaishimasu) – Nice to meet you/Please take care of me
9. どうぞ (Douzo) – Here you go/Please go ahead
10. 分かりません (Wakarimasen) – I don’t understand
11. ちょっと待ってください (Chotto matte kudasai) – Please wait a moment
12. 申し訳ありません (Moushiwake arimasen) – I apologize/I’m sorry
13. もう一度お願いします (Mou ichido onegaishimasu) – Please say that again/One more time, please
14. 了解です (Ryoukai desu) – Understood
15. どういたしまして (Dou itashimashite) – You’re welcome

In meetings and negotiations:

1. 議題 (Gidai) – Agenda
2. 資料 (Shiryou) – Documents/materials
3. 話し合い (Hanashiai) – Discussion
4. 合意 (Goui) – Agreement
5. 提案 (Teian) – Proposal
6. 了承 (Ryoushou) – Approval/Consent
7. 協力 (Kyouryoku) – Cooperation
8. 合意書 (Goi-sho) – Agreement document
9. 契約書 (Keiyaku-sho) – Contract document
10. 納期 (Nouki) – Delivery deadline

In business correspondence:
1. 件名 (Kenmei) – Subject line
2. ご連絡 (Go-renraku) – Contacting you
3. お知らせ (Oshirase) – Notice/Notification
4. お願い (Onegai) – Request
5. ご確認ください (Gokakunin kudasai) – Please confirm

In business meetings and presentations:
1. 発表 (Happyou) – Presentation
2. 質問 (Shitsumon) – Question
3. 承認 (Shounin) – Approval
4. 提案する (Teian suru) – Propose
5. 了解ですか? (Ryoukai desu ka?) – Do you understand?
6. ご質問はありますか? (Go-shitsumon wa arimasu ka?) – Do you have any questions?

In networking and building relationships:
1. 自己紹介 (Jiko shoukai) – Self-introduction
2. お世話になります (Osewa ni narimasu) – Thank you for your support
3. ご協力いただけますか? (Go-kyouryoku itadakemasu ka?) – Can I count on your cooperation?
4. ご一緒させていただけますか? (Go-issho sasete itadakemasu ka?) – May I join you?
5. お名刺をいただけますか? (Meishi o itadakemasu ka?) – Can I have your business card?
6. お互いに利益が得られる関係を築きましょう (Otagai ni rieki ga erareru kankei o kizukimashou) – Let’s build a mutually beneficial relationship.

In negotiations and agreements:
1. 条件 (Jouken) – Conditions/terms
2. 価格 (Kakaku) – Price
3. 割引 (Waribiki) – Discount
4. 契約 (Keiyaku) – Contract
5. 合意に達する (Goui ni tassuru) – Reach an agreement
6. 条件を交渉する (Jouken o koushou suru) – Negotiate terms
7. 契約書にサインする (Keiyaku-sho ni sain suru) – Sign the contract

"Otsumami" - a bite size snack:

By familiarizing yourself with these phrases, you can confidently navigate business meetings, negotiations, and correspondence, demonstrating respect for Japanese culture and enhancing professional interactions.

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