I have been in Cebu Island in the Philippines for 17 years and work here with Filipinos. I came here alone, but I have been married to a Filipino woman for 15 years. He lives with his wife, daughter and son.
Working with foreigners and communicating with them is a daily routine, but I belong to a Japanese company and coordinate with Japanese people and local staff, so I always work with Japanese people. We recognize the difference in the senses of Filipinos. Here, I would like to introduce some tips for having fun working with foreigners.
Better to speak local languages
I can’t speak it though…
Although Cebuano is the local language in my area, it is hard to say that I have a complete mastery of that language. Since the local staff and family members talk on a daily basis, I can understand it by watching the situation and having my wife teach me some expressions, but I can live in English. In some cases, it is difficult to learn.
However, even in English, if you use it without understanding the subtle expressions well, it may cause a terrible misunderstanding, so you really need to be careful.
What does “Please sit down” mean?
For example, you also learn the expression “Please sit down” in English classes at Japanese schools. Isn’t it an expression that anyone can understand? However, for native speakers, this means something like “don’t hang around in that place and sit down properly.” In other words, you shouldn’t use this expression when you want to say “please call me”.
However, when communicating with Filipinos, “Please sit down” is often used synonymously with “Please have a seat” which means “please call me”. Well, they aren’t native, so they’re cute.
Also, I may have made similar mistakes when I was using the local language. That’s why speaking the other person’s language may make conversation easier, but I think you have to be careful.
It’s important to understand slung or dirty words
Make sure not to use on the wrong timing
There is a language called slang. I used to study English in Canada, but at that time I used an expression that I didn’t know about slang, that is, I didn’t know the meaning behind it, and I was warned by my teacher.
Even if it is a commonly used expression, there are various expressions on the back, such as expressions that include sexual meanings and expressions that include meanings that insult the other party. Therefore, words and expressions that include such back meanings are extremely dangerous if you use them at the wrong time or at the wrong person. I think it’s best not to use it as much as possible, so I always pay attention to it.
Each country is different!!
However, when living in the Philippines, for example, you can see that sexual expressions are also used openly. It turns out that this is a cultural difference, and even if you blur the things that are difficult to say to them, they will not be conveyed. In the case of Japan, I expect the other person to understand, so there are times when I don’t have to tell it clearly, but in the Philippines, I can’t tell unless I say it clearly.
Also, many people use dirty or hard words when they become emotional. If you find that you are feeling emotional, you can take care not to say anything extra until you calm down, and leave it alone. It may be important to know dirty and hard words.
Make sure to use the right languages
This Cebu island has an atmosphere similar to Osaka in Japan. For example, there are quite a few equivalents to expressions such as “stupid,” “blurred,” “dotsukizo,” and “shibakuzo.” You don’t have to use something like this, but it might be useful to know.
You need to be able to read the air properly, but if you can speak well and make the other person laugh, your work will be faster than if you are seriously arranging the truth. In the end, you can work happily without stress. So it is very important to know the slang.