Business English Sentences That Japanese People Tend to Make Mistakes


Here are some examples of expressions that are often used by Japanese people and are easy for Japanese to make mistakes. Learn the correct wording.

QUIZChoose the meaning of I work banker's hours.

  • a) 2 days a week
  • b) I work overtime every day
  • c) I work on a flextime system
  • d) I work from 9am to 5pm

Correct answer d)

Banker's hours is translated as "banker's hours". This has gradually come to be used to mean "general working hours." I work banker's hours. Means "I work from 9am to 5pm".

This is safe ♪ Frequently used in-house phrases-expressions that Japanese people tend to make mistakes-

1. We have a branch office in Thailand.

✕ We have a company in Thailand.
◎ We have a company in Thailand.

We have company means "there are visitors". In this case, I can't go fishing with you because I have company this weekend.

2. My boss.

✕ This is my boss.
◎ This is my supervisor.

Or I'd like to introduce you to my supervisor. You can use the word boss when talking about a boss who isn't there, but you rarely use it in front of you. Usually, I use it like My boss is making me work this weekend.

3. Please call and wait.

✕ Please sit down.
◎ Please have a seat.

If you want to be more polite, you can say Please have a seat if you'd like. Please sit down. Is the nuance of "Don't stand up" and "Please sit down without standing up". For example, Please sit down. I can't see the screen.

4. He's already rude.

✕ He went home already.
◎ I'm afraid he's left for the day.

Use I'm sorry instead of I'm afraid, and I'm sorry, but he's left for the day. He went home already. He would have the nuance that he had already returned (although the time was still early).

I will come to you at 5.2 o'clock.

✕ I'll go there at 2:00.
◎ I'll be there at 2:00.

To tell the arrival time, use the phrase I'll be there at… (time).

I'll be there at around 10:00. (I'll come around 10 o'clock)
I'll go there at 2:00. Please note that it can be confusing.

6. (As requested) You can do this right away.

✕ It will take a little time.
◎ It will take little time.

When you want to say "then it's done right away" or "you can do it right away", use the phrase "take little time" without the a. If you say It will take a little time., It means "it will take a little time" and the meaning is different. The nuance changes so much just by the presence or absence of a. be careful.

7. That's a good question.

✕ Good question.
◎ That's an excellent question.

Good question. Is an expression used when you cannot answer because you do not know the answer. I don't use it to mean "a good question".

A: When is Robert going to get here? (What time does Robert go?)
B: Good question. (Come on ...)

Column Japanese-made English overflowing in the workplace

Many Japanese English (Katakana English) are used in Japan. At first glance, these look like English, but they are actually Japanese. If you use it as it is, most of it will not be understood by native speakers.
By the way, here I have collected the words that are often used in the workplace from such Japanese-made English. Did you know that these are all in Japanese English?