City officials in Takamatsu, the capital of Kagawa Prefecture, have learned "easy Japanese" in a workshop to better deal with the growing number of foreign residents in the western Japan prefecture.

Vietnamese, Indonesian and other international students at Anabuki Business College in the city helped the 16 officials deepen their understanding of how to communicate in an easy-to-understand manner with people unfamiliar with Japanese.

The first workshop under a 2020 agreement between the city office and the college was held Jan. 31 at the school.

A city official (R) learns to use easy Japanese in a dialogue with an international student on Jan. 31, 2023, in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture. (Kyodo)

The school's Japanese language teacher Yukari Hata explained that short sentences, simple words and unambiguous expressions are key in communicating with non-native speakers.

She also advised participants to show a positive attitude when listening.

The officials then did an exercise in which they had to help a foreign student in city hall fill out relocation documents.

The lessons in easy language would not only help foreign nationals but also Japanese as administrative terms are often unfamiliar and confusing, one of the participants indicated.

The Shikoku Shimbun

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