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At Mercari, we provide language learning programs and communication support to realize an inclusive environment where our members can communicate with each other with ease.

Language Culture
at Mercari

Mercari Group’s members come from a wide variety of backgrounds, with members from over 50 different countries and counting. Our company does not define one official language, but we use both Japanese and English in our work.

The level of Japanese or English required will depend on the position and the type of work you are involved in. However, Mercari offers Japanese and English language programs as well as a dedicated interpretation and translation team to allow all members to communicate smoothly with one another, regardless of their language level or background.

We aim to create an environment where anyone can join discussions with a sense of safety regardless of their background or language level. To that end, we believe it is essential to not stop at just providing language learning programs and communication support, but also for Japanese speakers and English speakers to meet halfway during daily communications. It is an important value for Mercari language culture to not expect the other party to speak perfect Japanese or English, but rather to value the essence of communication by meeting halfway and focusing on understanding one another.

by Language Level

Mercari has adopted the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) to categorize language levels into Basic (CEFR-A2), Independent (CEFR-B2), and Proficient (CEFR-C1). We strive to make sure that all members understand how expectations differ for each language level and that they are able to conduct communication in a way that matches their level.

LevelDefinitionPractical application
(CEFR – A2)
Able to conduct basic communication regarding their field of expertise with conversation support from the other party and/or using simpler words
  • Able to conduct 1-on-1 meetings with their manager while receiving their support
  • Able to chat or exchange opinions on work-related topics with coworkers in a one-on-one setting
LevelDefinitionPractical application
(CEFR – B2)
Able to exchange complex information regarding their field of expertise without much conversation support from the other party or using simpler words
  • Able to conduct 1-on-1 meetings without language being an obstacle for communication
  • Able to participate in discussions regarding their field of expertise with multiple parties including native speakers
LevelDefinitionPractical application
(CEFR – C1)
Able to independently exchange complex information outside their field of expertise without conversation support from the other party or using simpler words
  • Able to participate in discussions regarding unfamiliar or abstract topics with multiple parties

Language Learning

Mercari has a Language Education Team (LET) that supports members via various language learning programs to grow their language skills.

Language programs for both Japanese and English

Program nameOverview
Yasashii Communication This is an original training program where participants learn about Japanese and English usage that is difficult for the learners of each respective language, and about ways to conduct communication that is considerate of the other party. We hold this program with the goal of creating an inclusive environment where everyone can participate in discussions with a sense of psychological safety and understand the opinions of others without being afraid to voice their own. In training sessions, we encourage participants to explore the best practices of communication, while also emphasizing how we should not expect the other party to speak perfect Japanese or English, but rather value the essence of communication by meeting halfway and focusing on understanding one another. We also deepen mutual understanding by sharing the difficulties and challenges of learning another language. The training applies to teams that have a mix of Japanese learners, English learners, and native speakers, as well as teams that operate in one language or the other.
Mercari’s Yasashii Communication Training (only available in Japanese)
Program nameOverview
Speaking tests for Japanese and English We conduct our original speaking tests for Japanese and English. They are designed to measure speaking ability as required by Mercari. The scoring is done while adhering to CEFR standards. The English test is for non-native English speakers, and the Japanese test is for non-native Japanese speakers.

Japanese language programs

Program nameOverview
Japanese group lessons
This is an original Japanese lesson program based on actual situations that Mercari members have encountered inside and outside the company. The program was developed based on our members’ experiences and needs in order to help them acquire the ability to live in Japan and communicate smoothly within the company. What makes this program special is that participants can quickly acquire conversational skills that they can actually use. The program is intended for members whose Japanese CEFR language level is Pre-A1 to A2.

English language programs

Program nameOverview
English program This lesson program is designed to help members who need English for their work to acquire CEFR – B2 English proficiency and who intend to perform on a global scale at Mercari. The program is open to members whose current English level is CEFR – B1 or below, who use English in their work, and who can commit to studying English for at least five hours per week.
Program nameOverview
Online English conversation program This lesson service allows members to take English conversation lessons anytime, anywhere from their computer, smartphone, or tablet. Regardless of their current language level, members who are enrolled must meet the minimum number of lessons per month and be committed to continuous learning. Please note that the rules for interns are different.

In-House Interpretation
and Translation Team

Mercari has the Global Operations Team (GOT)—a team specializing in interpretation and translation services—which helps bridge any gaps and facilitate smooth communication between the diverse members of our organization. GOT’s mission is to eliminate situations where members are not able to give their own opinion or have the same access to information as others because of language. Some positions do require a certain level of language skills, but GOT offers support to create an environment where members can get the information they need and take on any challenges they want, no matter their Japanese or English level.

Interpreting support

GOT provides meticulous interpreting support catered to the needs of each individual, not only for company-wide events and meetings, but also for regular team meetings or 1-on-1s.

Translation support

GOT provides translation and native check services for all sorts of documents for internal and external use.

Voices of Members

Here are some testimonials from members who made use of the language programs and/or communication support to unleash their own potential.

Picture:Yilin Li

Yilin Li

Machine Learning Engineer, Mercari Marketing Data Science Team

Originally, I could not speak Japanese at all, but since there are many English-speaking members at Mercari and we have interpretation and translation support by GOT, I rarely felt inconvenienced in communication. However, I decided to join the Japanese learning program, as I thought it would enable me to better understand and communicate with my Japanese-speaking coworkers, making them more comfortable sharing their ideas in their native language and allowing me to grasp their ideas more effectively.

I took lessons twice a week to study conversational Japanese useful for communicating with my coworkers. Thanks to the program, I was able to increase my language level to CEFR – B2. I resumed my studies on my own and eventually passed N1 of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test.

Given that our users are primarily Japanese and I work in marketing, learning Japanese enables me to better understand user needs,  and I will keep studying Japanese so that I can further unlock my potential to better serve their needs.

Picture:Jun Asano

Jun Asano

Engineering Manager, Merpay TnS Platform Team

My team has a mix of Japanese and English speakers, so we use interpreting support to ensure smooth communication during team meetings.

Originally, my team consisted of only Japanese speakers and I had few opportunities to use English in my work. At first, I was worried about whether I could communicate well with English-speakers, but thanks to GOT’s support, we were able to smoothly take English-speaking members into the team. The simultaneous interpretation of difficult words that are unique to the TnS area has also been very helpful.

Many members of my team are now actively using the language learning program to improve their English language skills and be able to communicate on their own someday.