Baffling Japanese Business Buzzwords
By Matthew Coslett
On July 20, 2015
The Japanese attitude to work is so unique that many of their words have made it into English management speak untranslated. Of course, these loan words are only some of the many unique Japanese ideas that are out there. Tellingly, most of the ones that are unique to these islands reveal a lot about Japan and its attitude to the world of work.
One of the more unique ones is
Another interesting, but more comical left-over from former times is ラジオ
This simple act of letting off steam in the mornings can help a lot, as Japanese people are expected to work a lot and rarely have time to properly take care of themselves. This attitude is reflected in the Japanese language too. While most Western companies thank people for their work after they finish a day’s work, Japanese workers often thank their colleagues for their hard work by saying how tired they look お
Unfortunately Japanese can often take this to extremes and the word
One of the bizarre outcomes of this was that workers began to feel guilty when they couldn’t carry on working because of the new labor laws. As a result, a new word was coined:
While these words are unique to the Japanese way of doing business, in the same way that English borrowed words from Japanese, the same is happening in reverse. As the Japanese business world is becoming increasingly westernized, Japanese people are increasing adopting ideas from abroad. As a result, many of the words from English management books have started popping up in Japan. Restructuring (リストラ), layoffs (レイオフ) and outsourcing (アウトソーシング) are some commonly used examples.
So, whether it is good or bad, you can bet that Japanese has a word for it. As work is such an important part of the Japanese psyche, it is not surprising that many Japanese people believe in