Learning English the Toyota Production System Way!

You know Toyota Production System has hit the big time in Japan when there’s an English language learning book out based on TPS. It’s titled “Mastering the Toyota Production System through English Speech Practice” by Matsuzaki Hisazumi. If only it were that easy!
Here are 20 phrases from the book (out of 60 listed) that offer side-by-side Japanese and English TPS vocabulary. Even if you don’t speak Japanese you can impress people by writing down these words. I take issue with translations 3, 6 and 8 and 19 we normally call Standard Work in Process. But who will know?
1.トヨタ生産方式 The Toyota Production System
2.多品種少量生産 Production of Many Models in Small Quantities
3.動きと働き ”Non-Value-Added Work” and “Value-Added Work”
4.真因を問う Finding the Root Cause
5.ジャスト・イン・タイム Just-In-Time
6.工程の流れ化 Workflow
7.同期化 Synchronization
8.後工程と前工程 Later Process and Earlier Process
9.不必要な在庫 Unnecessary Inventory
10.必要なものを、必要な時に、必要な量だけ Just What Is Needed, Only When Needed, Only in the Quantity Needed
11.平準化 Production Leveling
12.小ロット生産 Small Lot Production
13.段取り替え Changing Setups
14.多様化 Diversification
15.生産プロセスの合理化 Rationalizing Production Processes
16.標準作業 Standard Work
17.タクトタイム Takt Time
18.作業順序 Work Sequence
19.標準手持ち Standard In-Process Stock
20.標準作業票 Standard Work Sheet
Sample phrases used to learn English include “The Toyota production system also strengthens quality assurance in every production process.” and “The essence of the Toyota production system can be adapted to the operations of many other industries.”
I chuckle to imagine the TPS version of the Monty Python tobacconist sketch happening in a shop in some Midwestern town with a Japanese factory nearby.
Even if you are already fluent in English, these are useful phrases. Now repeat after me, “The essence of the Toyota production system can be adapted…”

1 Comment

  1. Subhas

    October 15, 2006 - 5:13 am

    Contents in the site are very useful