Poorly-understood job titles in Japan

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Here’s a quick ranking survery from goo Ranking to squeeze in as my entry to the September 2008 Japan Blog Matsuri on poorly-understood job titles in Japan. As the theme of this month’s Matsuri is language, I’ll list the original Japanese too. I’ll bet many of my readers will be stumped by some of the translations too!

Demographics

Between the 25th and 28th of July 2008 1,072 members of the goo Research online monitor panel completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 50.3% of the sample were male, 5.7% in their teens, 14.4% in their twenties, 31,0% in their thirties, 28.1% in their forties, 10.5% in their fifties, and 10.4% aged sixty or older. Note that the score in the results refers to the relative number of votes for each option, not a percentage of the total sample.
It’s interesting that most of the confusing job titles are English ones. Number 7, Vice-President, refers not to people like Dick Cheney, but to something I notice in start-ups, where everyone in at the founding and/or with substantial shareholdings gets an honorary vice-presidentship for their troubles. I’m not sure what number 14 is doing on the list – an orchestra conductor is a 指揮者, shikisha – do they mean bus conductor?

I used to have an unofficial job title of Transcontinental Code Monkey (I might even still have the T-shirt somewhere), but that’s another story.

Oh, and for the Blog Matsuri I though this or this would have been much more appropriate, but the translation defeated me!

Ranking result

Q: What job title do you not really know the meaning of? (Sample size=1,072)

Rank日本語ReadingEnglishScore
1エバンジェリストEbanjerisutoEvangelist100
2董事ToujiBoard Member (Chinese/Taiwanese)89.5
3パブリシストPaburishisutoPublisist85.6
4インテグレーターIntegure-ta-Integrator81.1
5フェローFero-Fellow80.3
6アーキテクトA-kitekutoArchitect76.6
7バイスプレジデントBaisupurejidentoVice-President73.2
8マーチャンダイザーMa-chandaiza-Merchandiser70.2
9リードトレーナーRi-dotore-na-Lead Trainer69.9
10アソシエイトAsoshieitoAssociate66.9
11参事SanjiCouncillor60.7
12スーパーバイザーSu-pa-baiza-Supervisor52.2
13主事JujiManager50.2
14コンダクターKondakuta-Conductor42.9
15アナリストAnarisutoAnalyst39.5
16シニアスタッフShiniastaffuSenior Staff37.1
17次長JichouVice-director31.3
18プロフェッショナルPurofesshonaruProfessional29.8
19最高情報責任者(CIO)Saikou Jouhou SekininshaChief Information Officer26.0
20スペシャリストSupesharisutoSpecialist25.4
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