対談 and 相談 woes

This is easily one of my most persistent leaches. I’ve seen other topics on these two words but nothing really seems to click. Discussion and conversation are synonymous to me. 相談 does not register in my mind as consultation or advice because those are one way discussions yet the word uses the Kanji for mutual. And for 対談 I anyways put discussion and always get it wrong. I would like to assign conversation as a synonym, but since that is the answer for 相談 I’m hesitant.

Does anyone have any advice for drilling this into my head? I probably get them wrong 80% of the time which is just sad.

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相談 sticks in my mind as consultation due to encountering 報連相ほうれんそう - an amalgamation of 報告・連絡・相談. Basically a call for employees to report, contact, and consult for work to progress well.

I feel like I mostly encounter it about employees observing 報連相 with regards to their manager / superior, but I could well be wrong on that. That’s just the feeling I got on that. Maybe they also mean general communication with colleagues.

As for 対談… Just remember 相談 and then tell yourself “This is that other one.” :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Edit:

To me, a conversation is people talking. People talking CAN be a discussion, but a discussion always has a particular topic that is being drilled down on with opinions and exploration.

A discussion is a conversation. But a conversation is not necessarily a discussion. If I’m talking to my elderly neighbour about how nice his yard looks, the word discussion doesn’t seem applicable at all to me.

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相談 for me the “soul”, aka the reading part help, because when you discuss about your soul, that’s a psychological consultation, therefore consultation

対談 “oppose discussion” oppose often has the meaning of “opposing someone”, so you have different opinions and you’re conversing about them.

Probably the most important part is that I remember 相談 as consultation, because consultation definitely isn’t the same as conversation

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Oh, I know this expression from Saezuru tori was habatakanai! :joy: But, then again, 相談 is used quite often in anime for consultation, so it mostly stuck from that for me.

OP, maybe just consume more media and eventually you’ll get that example in the wild that sticks with you? :eyes: This is not an uncommon word.

対談, I can’t say I remember hearing used, so I guess, I’d go with @Omun’s advice: it’s the other one! ^^;

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Well for what it’s worth, this is how I remember. It’s nothing high brow.

If I was consulting Dan for advice, I might say - “So, Dan, what do you think about this?”
Whereas a conversation is more of a two way exchange. Like a tie between the two people talking. (It’s still a conversation with Dan though).

helps if you know a Daniel to pin it on?!

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I used a pretty simple trick for 対談: I just remembered that “conversation” sounds like it has “converse” within it, which relates back to 対, since ‘converse’ and ‘opposite’ are similar ideas (think the math kind of converse).

This is how I got 相談 to stick. I encountered it in Genki, and (from my experience) interpreting new words in context and then putting them in an SRS helps you remember them better than just an SRS alone. Learning new words via a program like this is just fine for now, but you’ll probably eventually want to learn new words from seeing them in the wild.

Don’t worry about getting stuff like this wrong! Japanese, as I’m sure we’d all agree, is a difficult language to get a hold of, especially words / kanji that seem similar. If anything, just be proud that you’ve made it as far as you have!

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Thanks for the tips everyone. I’ll give them some thought. I think the Daniel mnemonic might end up being the ticket though.

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