Japanese vocabulary: Business/Economics terms

By | June 19, 2015

These days I’ve been listening frequently to NHK’s 「社会の見方・私の視点」 (Societal perspective / My point of view), which is a news podcast that talks about a diverse set of topics including government, economics, world politics, business, industry, and many others.

Needless to say, the Japanese is extremely high level and there are many words that you would not normally hear in daily conversations. But one of my goals is to learn to understand Japanese fluently, regardless of the topic, so I’ve persistently listened to these with that in mind.

If you listen to 10 or 20 episodes, you’ll notice there are some words that appear fairly often, so I’ll make a list of a few that come to mind. This is by no means exhaustive, and native-level comprehension of these topics would take not just learning thousands of words, but understanding the interworkings of the Japan government and economy. Also, having a good understanding of these words in English would really help you quickly learn the Japanese ones, and if you are not knowledgable in this topics in English you’re going to have a pretty hard time following.

  • 賃金(ちんぎん): wages
  • 年金(ねんきん): pension
  • 投資(とうし):investment
  • 企業(きぎょう): company
  • 大企業(だいきぎょう): large sized company or enterprise
  • 中小企業(ちゅうしょうきぎょう): small or medium-sized company
  • 物価(ぶっか): (commodity) prices
  • 株価(かぶか): stock price
  • 価格 (かかく): price
  • 上昇(じょうしょう): increase
  • 低下(ていか)・下落(げらく): fall, drop (of a price, etc.)
  • 暴落 (ぼうらく): sudden drop (of a price, etc.)
  • 石油(せきゆ): oil
  • 原油(げんゆ): crude oil
  • 市場(しじょう): market
  • 輸出(ゆしゅつ):export
  • 輸入(ゆにゅう): import
  • 交渉(こうしょう): negotiation
  • 懸念(けねん): worry, concern
  • 需要(じゅよう): demand
  • 供給(きょうきゅう): supply
  • 農業(のうぎょう): farm
  • 農家(のうか): farmer
  • 国家(こっか): nation or country
  • 関税(かんぜい): customs duty, tariff
  • 税金(ぜいきん):
  • 自治体(じちたい): self-governing organization or government
  • 地方(ちほう): region
  • 見込み(みこみ): hope, promise (as in a strategy with promise)
  • 作戦(さくせん): strategy
  • 選挙(せんきょ): election
  • 政治家 (せいじか): politician
  • 政府(せいふ): government
  • 経済(けいざい): economy
  • 財政(ざいせい): finance
  • インフレ: inflation (as in overall increase in prices in a country)
  • デフレ: deflation (reverse of inflation)
  • 円高(えんだか): Strong yen (when the yen is higher than other currencies such as the dollar)
  • 円安(えんやす): Weak yen
  • 所得(しょとく): income
  • 富裕層(ふゆうそう): the wealthy, or group of people with high net worth
  • 国内(こくない): internal to the country in question
  • 海外 (かいがい): external to the country in question (overseas)
  • 工場(こうじょう): factory
  • 生産(せいさん): production
  • 付加価値(ふかかち): added or unique value
  • 機構(きこう): system or organization
  • 高齢化社会(こうれいかしゃかい): “aging society”, where a low birthrate causes an imbalance between younger and older people.
  • 情報(じょうほう): information
  • 不況(ふきょう): (economic) depression
  • 指標(しよう): (economic) indicator
  • 平均(へいきん): average
  • 土地(とち): land (which has or can have a building)
  • 国債(こくさい): government bond
  • 権限:(けんげん): authority, power
  • 投資信託(とうししんたく): mutual fund
  • 株(かぶ): stock
  • 銀行(ぎんこう): bank
  • 倒産(とうさん): bankrupt
  • 赤字(あかじ): (budget) deficit, “in the red”
  • 黒字 (くろじ): (budget) surplus
  • 創業(そうぎょう): establishment of a business
  • 組織(そしき): organization (don’t confuse with 葬式(そうしき) – funeral)
  • 陰謀(いんぼう): conspiracy
  • 産業(さんぎょう): an industry
  • 生産性(せいさんせい): productivity
  • 資産(しさん): assets, property, (ones) fortune
  • 負債(ふさい): debt, liabilities
  • 予算(よさん): budget
  • 支援(しえん): aid, support
  • 追い風(おいかぜ): favorable wind (used to refer to an economic or business advantage)
  • 傾向(けいこう): tendency
  • 消費(しょうひ): consumption
  • 消費者(しょうひしゃ): consumer
  • 年齢(ねんれい): age
  • 安定(あんてい): stability
  • プラスになる: to be an advantage or merit
  • 国民(こくみん): a nation or people of a nation
  • 途上国(とじょうこく): developing nation
  • 貧困の差(ひんこんのさ): gap between the rich and the poor
  • 再生可能(再生可能): renewable (as in 再生可能エネルギー)
  • 議論(ぎろん): debate
  • 情勢(じょうせい)・状況(じょうきょう): situation
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6 thoughts on “Japanese vocabulary: Business/Economics terms

  1. Boyofleaves

    Thank you for sharing this :). Seeing that my career may take me into economics, business and world politics, understand this high level of Japanese seems a worthy goal.

  2. Alex Helle

    Very useful list indeed. We have incorporated it to our in-house translation vocabulary. For Japanese translations, I recommend you in touch with us at Pangeanic.


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