Japanese on tip of their tongue – Bullet Train impact

Chennai-Mysuru high speed rail line project is on full swing
Image for representation purpose only copyright: respective Authority

New Delhi: The ambitious Bullet Train project finds itself in the headline since the project was announced. In an interesting development, from managing director to the staff members associated with Bullet Train are in race to learn Japanese. In fact, most people now greet other with this line –  “O genki desu ka? O hai yo go zai masu.” This means ‘how are you’ in English.

All employees of National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) are learning Japanese with gusto. These staff members are busy rolling out country’s first bullet train, a high speed rail system from Japan.

It is indeed interesting to note that all employee spend alternate day of the week to learn one of the toughest language in the world. Japanese is the ninth most spoken language and NHSRCL staff members associated with Mumbai-Ahmedabad train are been taught this language via professional teacher.

The class is compulsory and no one is allowed to miss out on them. Students’ batch comprises of the managing director, four chief project managers working in staff offices in Mumbai, Surat, Vadodara and Ahmedabad. They learn via video link and attendance to these classes is mandatory.

The officials inform that it is not just the train they are bringing to India. They are also integrating the culture that operated one of the best transport systems in the world.

As reported by the Indian Express “The linguistic course has textbooks comprising of Marugoto- the course on Japanese language and culture, developed by the Japan Foundation and based on the established standard for Japanese-Language Education. The course book is designed with an emphasis on using Japanese to communicate, and on understanding and respecting other cultures.”

Managing director of NHSRCL shares that those who fail to master Level 1 will not be sent for on-the-job training necessary for the project. There is Level 2, an advanced version. All employees are expected to pass in language proficiency in order to be part of the ambitious project.

Training to start from October

NHSRCL officials will be sent to Japan in October to learn finer nuances of the Shinkansen. These officials will then train approximately 3,000 personnel at a training institute in Vadodara, those who will be operating the Bullet Train.

The first batch of officials will be sent for around three months to Japan. The subsequent will be sent for six month to gain on-the-job training.

Japanese Embassy in Delhi has arranged for professional language teacher. Students appear for a test post each module. Marks are tabulated for performance review as well.

In fact, NHSRCL will import the complete customer service manual of the Shinkansen. It is this manual that determines customer-service ethos and practices of the transport system’s operations.

Khare shares that language classes are important to facilitate easy communication with Japanese counterpart during training.


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