Following up on my post on how to get an animation job in Japan I thought some of you may be interested in the language around the office. You can use this to get a head start with some animation specific vocab and phrases that you will hear on a day to day basis. With the help of 3 translators from Polygon Pictures ( ポリゴンピクチュアズ ), here is a run down on what they and I think will be most useful and so you can hear the correct pronunciation from native Japanese speakers.

Loan Words “Gairaigo”

3D – surii dii – スリーディー
Computer – conpyuutaa – コンピューター
Animation – animeshyon – アニメーション
Modelling – moderingu – モデリング
Texturing – tekusuchyuringu – テクスチャリング
Rigging – rigingu – リギング
Lighting – raitingu – ライティング
Keyframe – kiifuremu – キーフレーム
Character – kyarakutaa – キャラクター
Slow Motion – hai supiido – ハイスピード
Path/ Pass – pasu – パス
Approved – oke desu – オーケーです

Japanese Vocab

Same – Onaji – 同じ
Different – Chigau – 違う
Faster – Hayaku – 早く
Slower – Osoku – 遅く
Longer – Nagaku – 長く
Shorter – mijikaku 短く
Variety of movement/ shape/ energy – MeriHari – メリハリ
Got it/ understood – Ryoukai desu. – 了解です
Ease in/ Ease out – Tame/ Tsume – ため・つめ

Japanese Phrases

Working hard!? Keep it up! – Otsukaresama desu – お疲れ様です
Sorry for the disruption – Shitsure shimasu – しつれします
Sorry I’m leaving before you – Osaki ni shitsure shimasu – おさきにしつれいします
Thanks in advance - Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu – よろしくお願いします
Today I am working on X – Kyo wa X o yarimasu – 今日はXをやります
I’m finished – Owarimashita – 終わりました
Around this area/ about here – Kono hen desu – このへんです
I corrected (the retakes/ changes) – Shuusei shimashita - 修正しました
I submitted X – X o teishutsu shimashita – Xを提出しました
Maya has crashed – Maya ga ochimashita – Mayaが落ちました
Maya has crashed again – Maya ga mata kurashu shimashita – Mayaがまたクラッシュしました


  • Learn the numbers and generic counter
  • Do not trust google translate, but use it as a very rough guide.
  • Speak slowly in English to help Japanese people understand you
  • If all else fails, say you will get the translator! – Tsuyaku o yonde kimasu – つうやく(通訳)をよんできます

Don’t forget to check my previous post on how to get an animation job in Japan and do leave a comment or drop me a line on twitter if you have any questions. Happy studies!



  1. dreams2005

    Nice to meet you, I am an animator graduates from Hong Kong and I am looking animation jobs in Tokyo. Thanks for the video and I appreciated your afford. I got some more questions about the dressing for interview and Company information session, is it necessary to wear proper suit? or just proper wearing is good enough?

    Thanks you!

    • Good question! For interviews you will find that Japanese people will often wear suits. But as I am from the UK and it is more normal to dress casually I wore something in the middle. So not a full suit, but not dirty jeans and a T-shirt either. I think “smart casual” is the way to go, so clean trousers and a nice shirt is good, but you can probably leave the tie and expensive jacket at home 🙂

  2. dreams2005

    Oh thanks so much for your advice 🙂 頑張りましょう!

  3. Hi,

    I work in an animation company, and we would like to work with Anime artists directly from Japan,
    animators, directors, storyboard artists and character designers you name it, but it’s always hard to locate and communicate with them.

    am not talking about the high profile ones who made it to IMDB and Hollywood, but the young ambitious ones yet to be known.

    your help in directing me will be really appreciated

    Thank you

  4. Hello. I am a college student who is researching more opportunities for a major. I have recently become interest in animation, although I have no experience. I’m a first year in college so I have plenty of time to learn but I was wondering what your advice would be. Should I even try to pursue a field in animation?

    • Animation is very very competitive. If you have a huge passion and drive for animation and VFX then go for it! But you have to really want it, as the people I work and studied with are so into it. They eat sleep and dream animation of all kinds so if that’s you then great. If you are looking for a niche way in, the more technical side of the industry often has less competition than the creative side. So rather than pure animation/ modelling, perhaps look into lighting, effects, pipeline, coding/ scripting for animation. There are a huge range of roles in animation so I’d see if you can get a tour with a local company (big or small, they will know their stuff) to get a better idea of what’s involved.

      All the best!

  5. Hi, I’m 2d animator, I’m graduating soon. I’m interested in working in character design, storyboard or animation in japan. I don’t know how to contact studios.If you could help me I would really appreciate it.

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