「日刊四字」へようこそ!

Now Featuring 1級 Grammar, Everyday Japanese That You Won't Find in the Book, and Language and Cultural Trivia!

Friday, March 6, 2009

率先垂範

そっせん すいはん
sossen suihan
Yet another yo-ji that highly appeals to the part of me that wishes I was まじめ, or even えらい.

率先 means taking the initiative: 人の先に立つこと. 先 is usually among the first kanji that most people learn, so I'll leave that alone and just say that 率 is a very, very useful kanji to know, because you can attach it to almost anything to make "the ______ rate:" like 出産率, 死亡率, 失業率 or 換算率. It gets used a lot in relation to percentages (出席率), proportion (倍率), and it's even one of the cornerstones of the word for probability: 確率. Plus, tiny bit of trivia, it's in the Japanese name for pi: 円周率.

垂範 means setting an example, and I'm not sure exactly why. If anyone knows how the first kanji comes into play, please comment away!

Back to 率先垂範.

Definition:
自分がすすんで手本を示す。模範を見せること。
Translation:
1. To lead by example.

Personally, I like to think of this one in conjunction with 不言実行, and in opposition to 反面教師.

Very, very common yo-ji for use in business situations.

例文:
日本のリーダーは“世界標準”あらず、 率先垂範から指導育成への転換が不可欠。
Japan's Business Leaders Don't Meet the Global Standard: A Change from the "Good Example" Model of Employee Training to Guided Development will be Indispensable. (trans. Nirav)

2 comments:

Emi said...

Hate to say, but I've never used the yo-ji... Thank you for letting me know. (^^)
One thing, you missed 「に」 after 「世界水準」.
「世界水準にあらず」

AzzidisRidden said...

Hey Emi! I took some advice from the lang-8 people and stopped avoiding newspapers! That's why today's example sentence is actually a headline from a newspaper article: You can click the link and check it out. I guess they left out the に because it's headline style.

And I know this isn't lang-8, but I have advice for you today!

"Hate to say" can often sound like it implies that you're going to say something negative about the person you're talking to. In this case, it makes your sentence sound like you think the yo-ji isn't useful. But then you say "Thank you," which reassures us that you did appreciate the post. In situations like these try varying "hate to say" with "hate to admit." "Hate to admit" puts the emphasis on yourself, rather than on your 相手.

As always, thanks for the comment!