GCD: Intercultural Communication

I currently live in Yokohama, Japan, and go to an international school at which I learn Japanese, while the curriculum is in English, and I speak fluent Chinese. My abilities in multiple languages allow me to contribute in an international environment. I decided in the beginning of 2018 to start working a part time job on the weekends at the McDonald’s near my school in Yokohama. Incidentally, this McDonald’s is next to the Yokohama Chinatown, and since I speak both Japanese and Chinese, I was able to communicate with my fellow employees from both China and Japan. I sometimes was even able to interpret the instructions given by a manager, or conversation with a fellow employee, between Chinese and Japanese.

I also was a useful employee when foreign customers came in, as it is a popular McDonald’s restaurant and many foreign customers come in able to speak English. There have been several times when groups of foreign customers come in, American, Middle-eastern, Chinese, etc., and I have been able to interpret at the counter so that the employee managing the register can understand what the wishes of the customers are. One time, a French customer came in, and was trying to ask for three shots of espresso. He was asking “May I have three shots?”, and the cash register employee did not understand. I went to interpret that the man was asking for shots of espresso, to which I responded to him saying that we did not have an espresso machine. Another time, a group of Muslim customers was asking if there were any traces of beef or pork used in the oil for frying the french fries. I interpreted this to the manager, who brought out a canister of the oil which is used in the frier, and clarified that there was not.

I am happy that I was able to help in these situations, some of which require complicated interpretations, which people who can only speak a little bit of English or Chinese generally would not understand. I wish to continue to use my abilities to contribute to external systems like that of McDonald’s or other firms in future.

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