Re-Run: Nihongo Lesson – Hot Stove Lexicon

» 23 November 2011 » In Uncategorized »

I first published this about a year ago, but it’s relevant again this autumn.

This is something I’ve always wanted to do — find a way to be more supportive of people learning Japanese. I occasionally get asked to translate things, but only rarely do those queries come from a Japanese learner.

So here’s a mini Japanese lesson, consisting of terms that are contextual to the offseason and hot stove league. Many of these terms won’t appear in your run-of-the-mill Japanese class, but you will find most of them on

Japanese Reading English Notes
ストーブリーグ sutoubu rigu hot stove league Japanese does away with the “hot” and calls it simply a “stove league”.
獲得 kakutoku acquire
契約 keiyaku contract
契約更改 keiyaku koukai contract renewal Most NPB players go year to year with their contracts, so during each offseason, a new contract at a new salary is negotiated for the following year.
仮契約 karikeiyaku provisional contract This is usually used to the first contract signed by recent NPB draftees.
大型条件 ougata jouken significant terms This indicates a big contract offer, usually in terms of number of years or annual salary.
新戦力 shinsenryoku new competitive strength “senryoku” doesn’t translate particularly nicely in a baseball context. This term, with the “shin” prefix, is used to describe the acquisition of a new player. For example, a new pitcher acquired by an NPB team might be refered to as “shinsenryoku”, where as in English we might say the team has “bolstered” it’s pitching staff.
戦力外 senryokugai uneeded competitive strength consersely, adding the “gai” (outside) modifier to “senryoku” indicates that a player is no longer needed and will be released. In English we might say the player “doesn’t fit into the team’s plans”.
ポスティングシステム posutingu shisutemu posting system
入札制度 nyusatsu seido bidding system when the term “posting system” appears in a Japanese article, it is usually followed with this term in parentheses
入札 nyusatsu bid
大リーグ / メジャー挑戦 Dai rigu / mejaa chousen big league / major league challenge “chousen suru” is a general term meaning to
入団 nyudan join a team
テスト入団 testo nyudan tryout with a specific team in English we usually call this a “tryout” or ‘trial”.
12球団合同トライアウト juuni kyudan goudou toraiauto 12 team group tryout The NPB 12-team tryouts occur every offseason, and give players who have been released a chance to showcase themselves for other teams. It includes some kind of simulated game played by the players taking part, but I’m not sure how simulated and how competitive it is.
決定 kettei confirmed
オファー ofaa offer
交渉 koushou negotiations
フリーエージェント(FA)宣言 furii eejento (FA) sengen declare free agency Free agency is abbreviated as FA, and comes in two varieties “kokunai” (国内, domestic) and “kaigai” (海外, overseas)
移籍 iseki move used when a player moves to a new team. Ie,松井、エンジェルズ移籍. Can be couple with FA (FA Iseki
残留 zanryu remain used when a player who is eligible for free agency and stays put. The big recent example is Hisashi Iwakuma
有力 yuuryoku lead In the hot stove context, this is often used to indicate the leading candidate to land a player.
提示 teiji proposal Differs from “offer” in that this is usually a general proposal of terms, while offer is more official.
代理人 dairinin agent
トレード toreedo trade
大筋合意 osuji goui agree to terms

Obviously, this isn’t a comprehensive list. If anyone out there has any questions or any terms to add to the list, fire away in the comments.

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  1. Patrick
    Michael Westbay
    24/11/2011 at 6:49 am Permalink

    How about:

    rabu kooru
    love call
    Often used when a manger or someone of importance calls a player (free agent) to tell him how important he would be to rounding out the team. No nuptials are involved.

  2. Patrick
    Billy D
    26/11/2011 at 1:43 pm Permalink

    Well done. I learned Japanese for four years in college, but I still need a couple of seconds to realize what a few words on this list actually mean. The most difficult part for Jap.-learners would be the kanji pronunciation; boy, you got a list of tough words.

  3. Patrick
    29/11/2011 at 2:26 pm Permalink

    Katakana always gives me fits. I read the word and think, “I know this, this means something,” but inevitably, I’m way off base.

  4. Patrick
    Thomas Dubberke
    30/11/2011 at 10:01 pm Permalink

    What’s the deal with Wily Mo Pena and the Softbank Hawks? Are they really going to sign him for 2 years and $5 million plus?