Winter Edition 2017

We welcome you to the Winter 2017 edition of our newsletter. We are pleased to share with you our achievements and our development as a translation vendor.

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Business cards in Japan

Japan has an age-old culture where respect and honour are essential parts of its idiosyncrasy. The way the Japanese people exchange business cards is a further reflection of this reality.

Without going into the general aspects that also apply in European countries such as an elegant design, the quality of the paper and the condition of our business card, in Japanese culture, as we already touched on in our blog "Business in Japan", there is a formal protocol which has significant differences that should be taken into account in Europe. Although we can always expect the understanding of our Japanese associates due to our different cultures, willingness to adapt to the Japanese culture will usually be well-received by our business contacts in Japan.

Use both hands

When handing over our business card, and when receiving a business card from another person, we should do so with the utmost respect and care, and as part of this sign of respect we should use both hands. Furthermore, when receiving a business card we should look at it and confirm the name of the person giving it to us. It is also highly recommended to use a card holder where we can place (and store) business cards, rather than using the pockets of our jacket or shirt.

Correct position of the card

When presenting the card with both hands we are presenting ourselves and giving the person receiving the card the opportunity to read our name. It is extremely important to ensure that the card is facing the right direction so that the other person can read it! Likewise, if our card is printed on both sides, one of them in Japanese, we should make sure to use the translated side.

The person in charge first

In the case of a business meeting including several members of the team, those with the greatest responsibility and the highest-ranking positions within the company will be the first to exchange cards. Again, this is a sign of respect and also a way to represent who makes the decisions.

Keep the card in sight

If we are sat at a table during a meeting, keep the cards exchanged on the table in an orderly and careful manner. We must be careful and orderly at all times when handling the cards given to us, otherwise it might be understood as a lack of respect. The idea behind this custom is to help us to remember the name and position of our colleagues in the meeting.