Consulting

Culture is the logic through which we view the world and this shapes our behaviour/action in varying degrees.

Being an island nation is widely believed to be a major factor that has made Japanese culture and language unique. 

This is also reflected in its business culture and many Japanese organisations operate in a 'Japanese' way in one form or another. There is no need for them to change if they are only operating in Japan; however this is not possible in this 'global' era. 

Of course, they are acutely aware of globalisation and have been trying to adopt what have been established as good practices in business management. However, they do not always work, because many of them are incompatible with Japanese culture or their way of life.  

One of the main reasons for this is because most popular concepts and theories in business management and related fields come 

from outside, especially the United States.   

 

In addition to historical and political reasons, the prevalence of

the English language has allowed for Anglo-American perspectives to become highly influential in global business,

shaping how organisations are run throughout the world.

  • Consulting 

  • Seminars/Workshops

  • Coaching  

  • Research                                  

The English language also acts as a huge barrier for Japanese organisations in becoming 'truly' global. Most Japanese people struggle in multicultural settings, largely because of their lack of language skills in English as the universal language. 

While we argue that Japanese organisations do not need to emulate every Anglo-American management model, they need to be able to communicate their brands clearly to their non-Japanese stakeholders, using the 'universal' language. 

The main issue here is that many of the organisations simply translate their Japanese promotional materials, including their websites, into English. This may work if they have an exceptionally creative translator with free rein to alter whatever he or she sees fit; however, it is a very unlikely scenario.

They do not seem to understand that good translation from Japanese to English or vice versa is much more than finding equivalent words between the two languages. Indeed, 'lost in translation' sums up a large amount of translation work.       

Did this Japanese man mean to share this message with the whole world?

Snow Monkey and Bee

 

helps promote intercultural understanding

concerning Japanese organisations

by taking Japanese perspectives into consideration.  

Snow Monkey and Bee refrains from simple translation work in brand communication. Instead, we focus on the main message and find the best way to communicate it as faithfully as possible to its original meaning, whilst tailoring it to appeal as much as possible to an English speaking audience.

Are you clear about the brand identity of your organisation? We are happy to discuss any issues with you. 

  • Brand concept 

  • Content creation

  • Corporate video production/editing

  • Market research 

We have teamed up with BrioBolt, an award winning media production company, with an impressive track record of delivering highly creative solutions to brand communication needs (BrioBolt: https://www.briobolt.com).

Language Training 

Culture is the logic through which we view the world and this shapes our behaviour/action in varying degrees.

Importantly, the language we speak also follows this logic.

This is often overlooked by the majority of language teaching methods and materials.  

Snow Monkey and Bee recognise the signifiant role which a learner's mother tongue and its host culture play, in acquiring a foreign language.

 

This specific approach is applied to teaching: 

  • Japanese for English speakers

  • English for Japanese speakers.

Japanese for English Speakers

Are you thinking of learning Japanese, but the writing system puts you off? Have you been learning the language for a while, but you feel like you have hit a brick wall?

Snow Monkey and Bee encourages you to see the world like the Japanese, which is very different from how English speakers view it. We focus on 'real Japanese' and draw attention to cultural aspects, explaining accurately why and how certain words and phrases are used, and in what contexts.

Snow Monkey and Bee takes a practical approach, refraining from using the kind of examples which are often only taught to adhere to grammar.

 

Have you been preparing for a Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) for a long time, but feel frustrated that you still cannot understand what is being said on TV, especially variety shows and dramas? This is probably because you haven't been encouraged to learn 'real Japanese', which is commonly used in spoken Japanese. 

Spoken Japanese does not really adhere to the grammar strictly, even compared to spoken English. Particularly Japanese syntax or its 'characteristic' SVO sentence structure is often ignored. For example, it is not unusual for people to say: 'ate meal (tabeta gohan) ?' instead of 'meal ate (gohan tabeta)?'.  Also, many parts that can be considered essential are omitted, including verbs; however the amazing thing is that people understand each other.     

What is often disregarded is the fact that Japanese people are 'skilled' at guessing what other people are trying to say. This cultural trait seems to have allowed for the frequent omission of various parts of a sentence and the flexible attitude towards syntax. Less is more encapsulates their communication style and indeed silence is golden in Japan.   

This is one of the main reasons why many long-term learners of Japanese tend to find it difficult to understand popular TV programmes or Japanese people speaking amongst themselves.

However, spoken Japanese courses are not widely available, because it is often considered 'not proper Japanese'. There is a distinct advantage of starting with spoken Japanese.

   

The Japanese language has fewer sounds than English, and most of them are easy for English speakers to learn. Japanese grammar is simpler than European languages, including English, although it is very different from them. For example, there are only two tenses: past and non-past. Most of all, spoken Japanese is even simpler, since Japanese people prefer using a relatively small number of set words and phrases.

Grammar is not forgotten, but only relevant points are introduced as necessary, so that you are not learning grammar for the sake of it. 

Lessons are designed to suit each individual student's learning style and ability, as well as lively and enjoyable. These are adjusted as you go along as your weaknesses are continually assessed.   

Typically, they incorporate the use of popular TV programmes and other practical resources that provide authentic examples.

This approach is ideal if:

• you have found the direct teaching method (lessons taught only in Japanese) frustrating or difficult

• you have found the exiting textbooks and resources a little too dull 

• you wish to learn more practical Japanese, as well as the set syllabus, while you are preparing for a Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)

Please contact us to arrange a free consultation call. 

 

 

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