妥協ということ

Recently in a conversation with Shuuzo we discovered one of the many differences between our respective languages that often makes translation difficult. I was describing some research I had done on being a foreign service officer, and was trying to describe their role in seeking compromise between governments. I tried to use the word 妥協, defined as compromise, but found out that in Japanese it carries a connotation of defeat. In English, I explained, the feeling of the word is completely different. I immediately thought of the saying, `a true compromise is achieved when both sides are unhappy`, to explain our views. Shuuzo was amused by this, explaining that the Japanese would try to seek out a solution wherein both sides benefit. Americans, of course, say they are doing the exact same thing, but secretly we all have that saying in mind.

Oops, I may have just let out a state secret…

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1 Response to 妥協ということ

  1. YokoKelley says:

    I’ve tried to find the Japanese word other than 妥協 that means compromise, but without losing one’s face, a very important aspect to people who are influenced with 儒教精神. What Shuuzo-san said, i.e., to seek a solution wherein both side benefit, led me to the expression「譲歩し合う] . This way no one loses face. Both sides maintain own superiority.

    Like

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