What Is The Difference Between Different 'Conversation' Kanji

There are two kanji that I’ve stumbled upon when working through my levels that both mean conversation. First is 会話 and the second is 対談. What is the difference between them?

Thank you for any help :slight_smile:

I would like secondary verification on this because I am only intermediate, but I believe I can answer
会話 → Is more for when you are talking with a friend, random stranger, etc. It is best translated to conversation.
対談 → you are on a show, where you discuss a topic in front of an audience. Say, you have a panel of 3 people discussing climate change on the news. It is best translated to dialogue, not conversation.

PS A good way to find the difference between words like this is to look at example sentences. On jisho, if you search the word plus #sentences it will give you a ton of examples.






If you search google images for 会話, you mostly get two or more people talking in a friendly manner. If you search google images for 対談, you mostly get two people talking in an interview or host format.


My differentiation seems to track with what others have said.

I think of 会話 as informal “conversation” - when I took Japanese in college every time the professor would have us have conversations with each other she called them 会話, we might have a topic but the aim was just natural conversation.

I think of 対談 more as “dialogue” which in my mind makes it a more formal conversation with predetermined goal or topic (such as being a more public conversation with people listening or an interview).


To build on @seanblue’s post, any time you’ve got two nouns with similar uses - and often two verbs will work too - sticking them into Google Image Search is a pretty good way to get an idea of the nuances involved.


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