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Tackle Workplace Language with Ease Using This Guide

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Ankit Dhama

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Common Workplace Phrases

1. Greetings:

Learn common Japanese workplace greetings, including the appropriate use of “Ohayou gozaimasu” (Good morning), “Konnichiwa” (Good afternoon), and “Otsukaresama desu” (Thank you for your hard work).

2. Team Collaboration Phrases:

Master phrases like “Issho ni shigoto wo suru koto wa arimasu ka?” (Do you have experience working as a team?), emphasizing collaboration and teamwork.

3. Project Updates:

Familiarize yourself with phrases for providing project updates, such as “Kyou wa nanika shigoto ga arimashita ka?” (Do you have any updates on your tasks for today?).

4. Expressing Appreciation:

Understand ways to express appreciation, like “Arigatou gozaimasu” (Thank you) and “Otsukaresama deshita” (Thank you for your hard work).

5. Seeking Clarifications:

Learn phrases for seeking clarifications, such as “Sumimasen, mou ichido itte kudasai” (Excuse me, could you please repeat that?).

Business Etiquette in Communication

1. Formal Address:

Understand the use of formal address in business communication. Use “san” (Mr./Mrs./Ms.) when addressing colleagues, clients, or superiors.

2. Email Etiquette:

Grasp the essentials of email etiquette, including using polite language and properly structuring emails. Begin with a formal greeting and end with expressions of gratitude.

3. Meeting Participation:

Learn how to actively participate in meetings by using phrases like “Chotto iikashite kudasai” (May I share my thoughts for a moment?) and “Wakarimashita” (I understand).

4. Receiving Feedback:

Navigate feedback gracefully by responding with phrases like “Kansha shimasu” (I appreciate that) and expressing a commitment to improvement.

5. Offering Suggestions:

Contribute to discussions by offering suggestions using phrases like “Mochiron desu” (Of course) and “Sore ni tsuite, watashi no iken wa…” (Regarding that, my opinion is…).

“Recently moved to Japan? How is your life going there? Share your experiences with others on our LinkedIn group, ‘A Day in the Life as a Japanese Employee.

Communication Skills for Success

1. Active Listening:

Hone your active listening skills by responding appropriately to colleagues’ statements with phrases like “Sou desu ka?” (Is that so?) and “Zehi, oshiete kudasai” (Please tell me more).

2. Clarity in Expression:

Practice expressing ideas clearly using phrases such as “Kantan ni iimasu to” (To put it simply) and “Yoroshiku onegaishimasu” (Please take care of it).

3. Non-Verbal Communication:

Understand the importance of non-verbal cues, including bowing, maintaining eye contact, and using appropriate facial expressions during conversations.

4. Cultural Sensitivity:

Foster cultural sensitivity in communication by respecting hierarchical structures and using appropriate honorifics when addressing superiors or clients.

5. Conflict Resolution:

Develop skills for resolving conflicts diplomatically, using phrases like “Sumimasen ga…” (I’m sorry, but…) and “Kaisetsu shite kudasai” (Please explain).

Dos and Don’ts for Effective Workplace Communication


  1. Do Use Formal Address: Address colleagues, clients, and superiors using appropriate honorifics.
  2. Do Practice Active Listening: Demonstrate engagement by actively listening and responding appropriately.
  3. Do Embrace Cultural Sensitivity: Respect Japanese business etiquette and cultural nuances in communication.


  1. Don’t Use Informal Language: Maintain a formal tone, especially in professional settings.
  2. Don’t Interrupt Colleagues: Wait for your turn to speak during meetings and discussions.
  3. Don’t Overlook Non-Verbal Cues: Be mindful of non-verbal communication cues, including bowing and eye contact.

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