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Kanji Cheat Sheet: Applying for Part-Time Jobs

Did you know that バイト comes from the German word "arbeit?"

By 2 min read

In 2019, of the 56.6 million active workers in Japan, 38% were categorized as part-time, self-employed or freelance irregular employees. When I first came to Japan and looked for part-time jobs, I was amazed at the offers I found. It seemed like I could get a job doing anything I wanted: from a fashion store or hair salon staff to a fitness instructor assistant or even an animal caregiver at the zoo. 

However, just like an English newspaper’s “Help Wanted” section, I’ve encountered several keywords made of only two or three kanji that hardly translate well using Google.

If you’re struggling to read a part-time job offer in Japan, our new kanji cheat sheet can be your Rosetta Stone to deciphering the lingo.

What is an arubaito?

The Japanese word アルバイト (arbaito), for a part-time job, comes from the German word “arbeit” and simply means “job” or “work.” The shortened version, バイト (baito), is more commonly used nowadays.

On average, 65% of Japanese teenagers work part-time jobs, whether for the experience or to earn money for university. They have to be careful, though: those under the age of 18 are not allowed to work between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Another term, パート (paato), also means “part-time job.” However, it usually refers to jobs targeted at homemakers as they typically start mid-morning and end around noon or early afternoon so workers can take care of their kids after school.

Not sure what to do about the taxes with your new part-time job? Check our full guide on filing taxes in Japan.

English Japanese Romaji
Part-time job アルバイト/バイト/パート Arubaito / baito
Short term contract 短期 tanki
Flexible shift シフト自由 Shifuto jiyuu
Weekdays/weekends only OK 平日/週末のみOK Hei jitsu/ shuumatsu nomi OK
2 to 3 days per week OK 週2・3日からOK Shuu ni / san nichi kara OK
Short working hours (up to 4h/day) 短時間勤務(1日4h以内) Tan jikan kinmu
Daily pay 日払い Hi barai
Weekly pay 週払い Shuu barai

Read the full article on GaijinPot Study!

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