Tokyo language barrier a challenge for expats
A Financial Times journalist has been describing his experience of moving overseas to Tokyo to begin a new life as a newspaper correspondent in the Japanese city.
Ben McLannahan, who has actually lived in Japan before, working as a teacher many years ago, explained that the capital is a great place to live, but what does make it tough is getting to grips with the complicated language.
Although he learned the basics during his teaching post, he noted that he hadn’t really invested any further time in mastering it.
“Now, in my second stint, I still struggle,” he said in an article for the newspaper.
“Tokyo has plenty of signage in English or Romanised Japanese, so getting around is no trouble. But try picking out skimmed milk in the supermarket, or operating a mobile phone, or figuring out when a postman will return with a package.”
It makes sense that along with sorting out a company that deals in international relocation, professionals can benefit from practising the language ahead of a move.
Other differences to be aware of, the journalist advised, are the fact that exporting cultural norms from your native country may offend Japanese people, but because of their own cultural quirks, they will not let you know.
In related news, a new report from Mercer identified Tokyo as the world’s most expensive city for expats to live in.