Mastering Japanese: How to Say Salary in Japanese

If you are learning Japanese, one of the essential concepts you must master is how to express “salary” in the Japanese language. Whether you are planning to work or do business in Japan, understanding how to talk about salary is vital. In this section, we will guide you on how to say salary in Japanese and provide insights into the linguistic nuances involved in discussing salary.

Through this section, you will learn the appropriate Japanese word for salary and gain practical knowledge on how to express it in different contexts. We will provide you with useful phrases and expressions, which you can use in real-life conversations. By the end of this section, you will have a comprehensive understanding of how to talk about salary in Japanese.

So, let’s get started and explore the translation of salary in Japanese and the Japanese word for salary, which are the fundamental building blocks of expressing salary in Japanese.

The Japanese Word for Salary

When discussing salary in Japanese, it’s important to know the specific word used to refer to this concept. The Japanese word for salary is 給料 (kyuuryou).

Japanese Word for Salary: 給料 (kyuuryou)
Translation of Salary in Japanese: Salary can be translated as 給料 (kyuuryou) in Japanese.

The pronunciation of 給料 is “koo-ryoo”. It is made up of two kanji characters: 給, meaning “give” or “grant,” and 料, meaning “fee” or “charge.” Thus, the literal meaning of 給料 is “granted fee.”

Now that you know the Japanese word for salary, you can confidently communicate about salary matters in Japanese.

Expressing Salary in Japanese

Now that you know the appropriate Japanese word for salary, let’s explore how to express it in various contexts. Below are some common phrases and expressions you can use when discussing salary in Japanese:

English Japanese Phonetic Transcription
What is your salary? あなたの給料はいくらですか? Anata no kyuuryou wa ikura desu ka?
I earn [amount] per month. 私は毎月[amount]を稼ぎます。 Watashi wa maitsuki [amount] wo kasegimasu.
My salary is [amount] per year. 私の給料は年間[amount]です。 Watashi no kyuuryou wa nenkan [amount] desu.
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It’s important to note that in Japanese culture, discussing salary is often considered a sensitive topic. Therefore, it’s important to approach these conversations with tact and politeness, especially when discussing salaries with superiors or colleagues. In general, it’s best to use more humble expressions when talking about your own salary, and to avoid asking direct and personal questions about other people’s salaries.

By mastering these commonly used phrases and being aware of cultural considerations, you will be able to confidently discuss salary matters in Japanese.

Pronunciation of Salary in Japanese

Now that you have learned the appropriate Japanese word for salary and how to express it in conversations, let’s focus on the pronunciation. It is important to pronounce Japanese words correctly in order to be understood and avoid confusion.

The Japanese word for salary is 給料(kyūryō). To pronounce it correctly, follow these steps:

Japanese Phonetic Transcription English
給料 kyū-ryō kee-yoo-ryoh

Notice that the first syllable “kyū” sounds like “cue” in English and the second syllable “ryō” sounds like “ryo” in English. The accent is on the first syllable, “kyū”.

To further improve your pronunciation, listen to native Japanese speakers pronounce the word and practice repeating after them. It may also be helpful to use a language learning app or find a language exchange partner to receive feedback on your pronunciation.

Tips for Correct Pronunciation

When pronouncing the Japanese word for salary, remember the following tips:

  • Focus on pronouncing each syllable clearly and distinctly.
  • Pause briefly between the two syllables.
  • Pay attention to the accent on the first syllable.
  • Practice regularly to improve your pronunciation over time.

By following these tips and practicing regularly, you will be able to confidently pronounce “salary” in Japanese.

Cultural Considerations in Discussing Salary in Japanese

When discussing salary in Japanese, it’s crucial to keep in mind certain cultural considerations. Japan has a unique culture that values politeness, respect, and harmony. Therefore, understanding how to approach and discuss salary topics is important.


Politeness is a core value in Japanese culture. When discussing salary matters, it’s important to maintain a polite and respectful tone. Avoid using direct language that may be considered rude or confrontational. Instead, use indirect or euphemistic expressions to convey your message. For example, instead of asking someone how much they make, you could ask about the industry standard for their job position.

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Hierarchy is another important aspect of Japanese culture. In a business setting, it’s important to be aware of your position in relation to others and to use appropriate language and behavior accordingly. When discussing salary matters, be mindful of the position of the person you’re speaking to or about. Refrain from openly discussing the salaries of higher-ups or superiors.


In Japan, there are certain taboos surrounding salary conversations that should be avoided. For example, it’s considered impolite to ask someone about their salary in public or in front of others. Additionally, it’s important to avoid comparing salaries or expressing dissatisfaction with one’s own salary. These topics can create discomfort or tension in the workplace and should be approached with caution.

By understanding these cultural considerations, you can navigate salary discussions in a respectful and appropriate way. Keep in mind Japan’s values of politeness, respect, and harmony, and use indirect language and avoid taboo topics when discussing salary matters in Japanese.


Q: How do you say “salary” in Japanese?

A: The Japanese word for “salary” is “給料” (kyūryō).

Q: Are there different ways to express salary in Japanese?

A: Yes, there are various phrases and expressions used to discuss salary in Japanese. Some common ones include “給与” (kyūyo), “月給” (gekketsu), and “年収” (nenshū).

Q: How do you pronounce “salary” in Japanese?

A: The pronunciation of “salary” in Japanese is “kyūryō.”

Q: What cultural considerations should I keep in mind when discussing salary in Japanese?

A: When discussing salary in Japanese, it is important to be mindful of cultural nuances such as politeness, hierarchy, and taboos surrounding salary conversations. Paying attention to these cultural aspects will help you navigate discussions about salary in a respectful and appropriate manner.

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