salary man

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Senior Member
In my country, we call people who work for a company salary man. Is it Ok ?

I am just a ordinary salary man. I work for a small comany.
  • wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    I agree with owlman5. I believe 'salary man' is just a word-for-word translation and it is a basic rule not to rely on word-for-word translation.

    However, there is another factor in this case. Japanese business people and journalists often use the expresssion 'salary man' in English. Because of that, it has actually been adopted in western journalism to a certain extent, though it is usually employed with the implication 'I am deliberately using this term because I want to refer to precisely the Japanese concept of a salaried employee'.

    I believe that the concepts of the complete loyalty of the employee to the company and the corresponding expectation that the company will provide a position for life are part of traditional Japanese business practice, but in the West are not seen to the same extent as being implied by the employer-employee relationship.

    I suspect that this cultural difference between West and East may be relevant to Korea as well as Japan.
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    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I heard the word such as white-collar worker(s) standing for salary man you mentioned.
    I am not certain about how 'salary man' is used, but 'white-collar worker' may be our equivalent. A white-collar worker is someone who works at a desk, or has a managerial job that traditionally would require that someone wear a white shirt and tie. (These days, the clothing is often much more casual.) Both men and women work at 'white-collar' jobs.

    However, white-collar worker does not include the idea of personal loyalty to a company and so on that wandle mentions as associated with the term 'salary man.'


    New Member
    English - US
    In casual conversation, would 'businessman' be an appropriate substitute? Again it wouldn't include the extra implications from the specifically Korean/Japanese ideas of 'salaryman', but it's certainly more convenient for conversation than 'white-collar worker'. Perhaps even 'Korean businessman' or 'Japanese businessman' could help with those implications, while not relying on the specific knowledge of the term 'salaryman'.


    Senior Member
    In casual conversation, would 'businessman' be an appropriate substitute?
    Probably not. Not all salaried employees are men who sell things or run companies. Some salaried employees are engineers. Other salaried employees are managers. Still others are police officers or soldiers. Of course, salaried employees can be men or women.
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    Senior Member
    In Japan(I'm not sure the case in Korea does), salary man means simply the person(people) receiving salary.
    I'm not sure how salary man is used in the west but in Japanese at least not used as the additional meaning such as the loyalty to the company, respect in a high position.

    We also use other words <<deletion>>; however, when we use salary man, it emphasizes the point that the man working in office or in company receives the monthly paychecks.

    So in my opinion, that word can be translated to businessman(men), a (office) worker(s) including white-collar worker(s) and so on.
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