The “For those who want to work in Japan someday: an honest roundtable discussion about working in Japan by foreign nationals residing in Japan” symposium took place a few days ago.
In the video recording of the roundtable discussion, facilitated by Ms. Yuko Ito of Hokkaido Medical University’s Center for Advanced Research and Education, and Associate Professor Toshifumi Suzuki of the University of Shizuoka Junior College, foreigners working in Japan openly talked about the attraction of Japan and issues that need to be resolved.
Part 2: The attraction of working in the nursing industry and communication methods
In the second part, we interviewed seven foreigners living in Japan who participated in the “Japan Care Worker Guide (JCWG) Online Seminar”, an information session on the Specified Skills system held from October 2021 to January 2022, about the “appeal of working in the nursing industry and communication methods”.
Ms. Ito: Hello, everyone. We will now move on to the second part of “an honest roundtable discussion about working in Japan by foreign nationals residing in Japan”, moving onto talking about the “the attraction of working in the nursing industry and communication methods”.
Professor Suzuki: Thank you very much for your attendance, let’s get started.
Ms. Ito: Now, let me introduce those appearing in Part 2. We have seven participants: Ms. Ayu from Indonesia, Ms. Lovely and Ms. Stella from the Philippines, Ms. Sithumini and Ms. Ashini from Sri Lanka, and Ms. Linh and Ms. Hoai from Vietnam. They also participated in the “Japan Care Worker Guide (JCWG) Online Seminar” and shared their stories as senior workers in the nursing industry. Did your feelings change after the seminar?
Ms. Ayu (Indonesia): I now want to improve my Japanese even more than before. I want to be able to communicate more with the residents.
Ms. Lovely (Philippines): I wanted to work harder for my family. I would like to proactively participate in training programs at the company and in the facility to improve my nursing skills and learn more.
Ms. Ashini (Sri Lanka): I was happy because I was able to teach people from overseas who wanted to come to Japan about Japan.
Ms. Linh (Vietnam): My colleagues and my family have praised me, which has given me confidence. My subordinates in Vietnam also said to me, “I can’t wait to go and work in Japan! “.
Ms. Ito: It seems that everyone’s participation in the seminar was a positive experience. Next, we would like to ask you about your “favorite Japanese words” and “reasons for liking them”.
Lovely (Philippines): My favorite Japanese word is “love”. My name is Lovely, so people call me “Lovely-chan”. “Love” in Japanese is “ai”. If there is love, there will also be peace LOL.
Ms. Sithumini (Sri Lanka): Through my work as a caregiver, I have come to love the words of gratitude, “thank you for everything”. It makes me very happy when the residents say these words to me.
Ms. Hoai (Vietnam): My favorite words are “do your best”. It is a wonderful phrase that encourages people. When I am tired, I also motivate myself by telling myself to “do my best”.
Professor Suzuki: I love the fact that you all like words that you use often in your daily lives.
Ms. Ito: Now for my next question. Have you ever found communication difficult in your work as a caregiver?
Ms. Ashini (Sri Lanka): There were times when I had something I wanted to say but did not know how to say it in Japanese. It was sometimes difficult to tell the senior staff what the residents wanted.
Ms. Linh (Vietnam): I find respectful language difficult. If you use it well, it can facilitate communication, but if you make a mistake, it can be rude… I grew up in Vietnam, where there is a respectful language, so I speak carefully while in Japan.
Ms. Ito: It is said that Japanese dialects are also difficult to understand, but have you ever had a case where you did not understand a unique way of saying something?
Ms. Ashini (Sri Lanka): In Nagasaki dialect, they say “yoka” for “good”. You also say “ikanba” for “must go” and “wakaran” or “shiran” for “I don’t know”.
Ms. Linh (Vietnam): Hokkaido has many dialects. For example, “menkoi” means “cute” and “shakkoi” means “cold “.
Ms. Ayu (Indonesia): In Okayama, I was surprised to hear “tired” said as “ere”, “hot” as “achii”, and “cold” as “samii”. I didn’t learn these phrases in Japanese language school, but now I can have a conversation with them in Okayama dialect.
Ms. Stella (Philippines): In Nagano, “I’m tired” is said as “goshitai”. When I first heard it, I mistakenly thought that all the users were complaining that their backs hurt.
Professor Suzuki：You are all very proficient at Japanese, but you communicate with an emphasis on “understanding” the meaning of the words.
In fact, Ms. Ito usually speaks in Osaka dialect, even though she has lived in Tokyo for a long time. However, it seems that people who use Osaka dialect sometimes find it easier to get along with each other. I guess it is important not only to convey the meaning of the words, but also to speak in a friendly atmosphere so that people can get along with each other.
Ms. Ito: I think everyone has taught me once again the importance of communication.
Let’s see you again in part 3.
This article introduces some of the topics from the video recording of the roundtable discussion. In the video, we hear more about communication efforts in the nursing care field from foreign residents in Japan. Please click below to view the full video.