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Aug 23, 2018

Norbert Kim is an equity trader at Asset Management One, a Japanese company that is one of the largest asset management firms in Asia. Norbert trades Japanese equity and foreign exchange markets and executes Japanese, European and US equity orders. At present, he also studies to become a Chartered Financial Analyst. Norbert comes from a linguistically and culturally diverse background which has helped him to embark on an interesting career path in finance that spans from Asia to Europe. He is bilingual, a native Japanese and Hungarian speaker.

In this conversation, we talk about how he learnt English as a foreign language in Japan as well as in Hungary, how he feels about accents and being a ‘foreigner’ in both Japan, Hungary and in London. A fascinating account of what it is like growing up and working in an increasingly global, multicultural and multilingual world.

Norbert explains vividly about loads of interesting aspects of the Japanese working culture as opposed to the British one, as well as how working for a Japanese firm in London changes things around and alters even strict cultural rules and expectations a little. He talks about questions that Westerners may find a bit intrusive or even offensive, however the answers to them are essential to establish the right sort of hierarchical positions in Japan.

We talk about leadership styles, how Norbert and I feel about Japanese, Hungarians, Germans and Brits being direct or rather indirect, we talk about punctuality, etiquette and politeness and Norbert quizzes me on how I would go about if a colleague or potential business partner took me to a restaurant and I didn’t like the food. As it turns out, I’d certainly offend a Japanese if I went my way and weren’t culturally sensitive enough.

At the end of our conversation, we talk about the meaning of the word ‘foreigner’ in London and in Japan.

Feel free to reach out to Norbert on LinkedIn


About the host, Gabriella Ferenczi:

Gabriella Ferenczi is a German and Hungarian language coach, founder of ProLingua Global, a London-based language training company.

Gabriella is a linguist and language enthusiast. Her mission with ProLingua Global is to help Uk businesses to operate more effectively in a global, multicultural and multilingual world, take advantage of more opportunities and strengthen international trade relationships.   

Gabriella believes that learning a new language promotes understanding between people, businesses, countries and cultures. It bridges gaps and enables to build meaningful connections.