Webinar to give you tips on Mercari-Style Easy & Kind Communication #MercariDays

Hi, this is Maz and John from the Language Education Team (LET). We work as a Japanese and English trainers and coaches, respectively, at Mercari. We also work as Yasashii Nihongo and Yasashii English trainers to help native speakers use easy & kind languages when they communicate with language learners.

We will be hosting a webinar on December 3 all about the Mercari-style of communication!

Keep reading to find out more about why we are holding this webinar.

The goal of language learning is not perfection

Currently, many of our team members come from overseas to work at Mercari. About 40% of our engineering team members are from outside of Japan. Although the native languages of the members are different, English and Japanese are mainly used for the work.

One of LET’s main missions has been to develop and operate English learning programs and Japanese language learning programs to improve communication between members. And so far, the members who have participated in the programs have been getting good results and are applying what they have learned in their work every day. In terms of progress, 93% of the members who joined the English language programs improved while 100% of the members who were enrolled in the Japanese language programs improved.

However, one of the major problems with language learning is that it takes time. No one can start learning a language today and be fluent in it the next day. It usually takes a minimum of six months to a year for a learner to be able to communicate the essential points using the simple words and grammar of the language they are learning, and a few more years to become fluent in the language.

So, how can the company support learners until they are able to communicate fluently? Of course, having an interpreter on hand is helpful. However, it’s not always possible to provide an interpreter, and setting up a meeting to match an interpreter’s schedule can make it difficult to make timely decisions. Also, every time new people join the company, you’ll be adding more interpreters, which doesn’t seem like a scalable solution.

At Mercari, we have a culture of “meeting halfway” between native speakers and language learners so that they can communicate smoothly by the former adjusting their speech so English or Japanese learners can also understand. To make this possible, we have developed and operate our own “Yasashii Communication” to improve communication.

We believe that the goal of language learning is not perfection. The most important point of communication is to understand each other. We use language as a tool to help us achieve this. In other words, language is a means to an end, not a goal. The goal of communication is to be able to communicate and participate in the decision-making process without anyone being left behind. We developed this program with the idea of “inclusive communication” in mind.

We will hold a webinar to introduce how we are doing this at Mercari!

Have you ever heard of any of these issues happening, or have you faced them yourself when it comes to internal communication?

・ It’s difficult to hire people with high TOEIC scores and JLPT levels.
・ English learners have high TOEIC scores and Japanese learners have N2 or above on the JLPT, but they don’t understand English or Japanese as it is usually used in their life.
・ I’m not good at English (or Japanese), so it is difficult for me to express my opinions in English (or Japanese) meetings.
・ I find it difficult to ask questions as they move on to the next topic before I can talk.
・ It seems like the conversation is going only among people who understand English or Japanese.

To help solve these problems, we provide training sessions where English and Japanese language learners working on the same team or project can learn Yasashii Japanese and Yasashii English together. Our end goal is to implement communication best practices based on what we learn from the training.

We are hosting a webinar to introduce what we are doing at Mercari. If you’re in charge of language training or working on D&I initiatives, please join us! We will also be available for individual company consultations after the webinar. Get started by attending the webinar!

Click here to sign up:

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