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PayPay's Amazing Japanese Language Program

Az

08/29/2022

Japanese and English are the official languages of PayPay. If your English or Japanese is business level then there really is no problem, but many of our colleagues from around the world come to Japan with a great interest in the Japanese language and the country’s culture. This is because they are a generation familiar with Japanese anime, games, and made-in-Japan products since childhood, and learning about the underlying ideas of trust, quality, and attention to detail in Japanese business and craftsmanship is another fascinating aspect.

Join PayPay, Join JBC

PayPay provides the first-day job orientation in both Japanese and English. Language classes are offered from the beginning, along with explanations of various internal procedures and training. For those who want to learn English, the company provides the English Boot Camp (EBC). For those who wish to learn Japanese, there is the Japanese Boot Camp (JBC), and many members sign up for both EBC and JBC.

For expat members who had been living in Japan before working for PayPay, as well as for those who come to Japan for the first time after deciding to join us, there are a lot of unfamiliar things in the “how to Japan” department even before one starts to think about “how to PayPay.” From the paperwork at the city hall to the “Do you want to warm up your food?” asked by the cashier in a convenience store, many things are different and perhaps strange. In order for our members to get used to life in a new country and to enable them to bring out their full potential in their work at PayPay, the company performs a JBC level check on the day they join the company, and they are able to attend the lessons from there.

JBC Created Thanks to Overseas Members

Expat employees that were with us when the company was established were saying, “I want to improve my Japanese proficiency if we’re going to expand business in Japan. I also want to understand the way of thinking and the cultural aspects that are rooted in Japanese society.” In response to that, the program started in 2020 with 53 participants. From there, word of mouth spread among overseas members, and by 2022, the number of people who had joined the program grew to 164.

Since most of the JBC members are members of PayPay’s product team, we are constantly optimizing the classes by organizing lessons at times when they can participate without worrying about their busy work schedule and increasing the number of lessons according to capacity.

Learn “PayPay Japanese” at JBC

JBC’s goal is to make Japanese usable at PayPay ASAP!
In other words, the curriculum is designed so that what is learned can be used in meetings and Slack exchanges right after class.

Therefore, we are tailor-making a lesson program that will help employees’ work in PayPay smoother, rather than offering a general Japanese class or using materials for international students. For example, expressions learned on the first day in a level zero beginner class might be “Please fix the bug, thank you” or “Please change the time.” 🙂

Speech Contest in a Beginner Class!

By the way, what level do you think a beginner class is?
The beginner class speech contest held just a few days ago was quite something, so we would like to share a little bit of it.

Izra’s speech

Amit’s speech

Dito’s speech

Intermediate and Advanced Students Study Polite and Complex Expressions

Intermediate and advanced members learn words and phrases that are respectful to superiors or that do not sound rude to customers. At this level, some members directly interact in meetings with Japanese clients, so business Japanese for talking with external parties becomes necessary.

In order to prepare our employees to explain complex ideas and situations in meetings, JBC actively incorporates and teaches nifty Japanese phrases. There are also conversation roleplays about reporting progress on a project, using figurative expressions such as, “We’ve managed to get on track,” or “We need to lay the groundwork.”

JBC = Community of Fellow Workers in Japan

Now that we are employing the WFA (Work from Anywhere at Anytime) system due to Covid, there are days when the JBC class is the only time where members can interact with each other. So, laughing with friends, sharing and discussing within the JBC community about things that are difficult at work, questions about the Japanese language, or useful information about living in Japan are also a big part of the benefits of joining JBC.

Some people attend every class even if they have to get up early in the morning, and some may have to go to a meeting but once it’s over they join the class and speak Japanese for the remaining 10 minutes. It has become a part of their work life in Japan and partly helps them keep going.

Reading between the Lines in Japanese

The most difficult part of communicating with Japanese members is discerning the intentions behind the words. For example, “Sore wa chotto…” When you hear a Japanese person say it, it doesn’t literally mean “That’s a little…” but instead means “No.” Japanese nuances like that are also explained in class.

An important part of doing business smoothly in Japan is understanding the values that are held dear around here. Japanese people value politeness, quality, and attention to detail. Members of speed-oriented cultures may, of course, struggle with how to proceed with this kind of workstyle. Cultural differences are discussed even in beginner level classes to help students understand the Japanese way of thinking. Further, the lessons take a multifaceted approach in which our members explain about their own culture as well, rather than a one-way street of only learning about Japan.

JBC = PayPay’s Culture

Ultimately, the fun part of JBC is also learning about PayPay’s culture. The folks who work at PayPay are all people who help each other and spare no effort. In class, the members give each other ideas on how to proceed with work and on how to study, and there is an atmosphere where everyone wants to help each other to achieve the common goal of communicating better in Japanese. Through JBC classes, everyone gets to know each other’s countries, each person’s character, and personality, and help each other if in need. That is what the JBC family is about and what it means to be a PayPay member. If you can speak English, you can talk to many colleagues. But if you can also speak Japanese, you can communicate with even more teammates.

PayPay Has JBC! So Rest Assured and Come On Over to Japan

Hello everyone! I am Hirai, a JBC instructor.

In addition to practicing the use of PayPay Japanese, we offer lessons that allow students to experience Japan from various perspectives, such as sharing information between members who have already started living in Japan and those who are about to start. Please let us know if you have any questions or doubts you have about Japan or the language. We look forward to meeting you!

Hi there! I am Nishida, one of the JBC instructors.

I am in charge of checking each person’s proficiency and Starter Classes. I am the first person you will meet once you join JBC. We design our courses, devise lesson materials, and share information in the community so that students can learn “PayPay Japanese” instead of ordinary Japanese. We will do our best and support you to become fluent in Japanese, so please reach out to us at any time!

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Thanks to: Language Boot Camps Team / Editor: Az (PayPay Inside-Out Editorial Team) / Translation: Justin / Translation Editor: Language Communication Team
*Employees’ affiliations are as of the time of the interview.