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"I can't speak English." criticism

"The very only English phrase you should never say to anyone in the world"

 

I see so many Japanese saying "I can't speak English", probably means more like "I'm not good at speaking English". That possibly has been led by the cultural factor like being moderate. However, imagine when you encounter someone who's saying "日本語が話せません",,, would you like to talk with them more? I reckon most of the readers of this blog will say "NO", right? If you are really keen to talk to the person, or in a negotiation-based task, you may have to talk to the partner, you have to show your passion for keeping the conversation.

 

So what should we say? I personally think that we don't have to say "I'm not good enough" because it doesn't matter, as long as we can communicate. Communication isn't composed of not only verbal language but also visual and most importantly the 'will' to be understood.

 

Last week, I happened to attend a seminar as one of the interpreters the other day, and I found so frustrating to just oversee how much the Japanese are taken advantages of due to the lack of communication skills. Japanese negotiators are just responding to what the agents have to offer, not demanding anything.

 

One of the coloured pictures of the experience in the seminar was that the time a high school executive in Japan was talking to the agent that is taken charge of the international students' programs all over the country of New Zealand. The Japanese high school probably wanted to send a huge number of English learners in a variety of level to NZ College, and they wanted to do the selective exams according to their policy. But, alter all, she just flowed from the opposition's opinion and didn't get anything out of the negotiation. From my observation, the opposition party couldn't come to the decision because he didn't get what the executive wanted. 

New Zealand. The Japanese high school probably wanted to send a huge number of English learners in a variety of level to NZ College, and they wanted to do the selective exams according to their policy. But, alter all, she just flowed from the opposition's opinion and didn't get anything out of the negotiation. From my observation, the opposition party couldn't come to the decision because he didn't get what the executive wanted. 

From my observation, the opposition party couldn't come to the decision because he didn't get what the executive wanted.

 

The other negotiator came to me and said: "We are doing this, but I want this, would you translate and tell him that?"

That's the right attitude I thought. And that is so I tried my best to tell the passion toward getting the agreement between the agent and the school in Japan.

 

It is totally fine not to be able to speak English well, but what you need is the positive attitude and 'will' to make the agreement 'win-win' situation. It doesn't really a big problem whether you have the interpreter or not. All you need is to talk with a full intention.