Celtic’s Japanese star Kyogo Furuhashi has been a sensation since joining the club from J League side Vissel Kobe last summer, but the player has admitted it hasn’t always been plain sailing for him, especially with the language barrier.
Kyogo admits he would just smile if his teammates spoke to him, as he couldn’t understand a word they were saying!
“My face doesn’t have a good first impression, and I tend to think it’s scary!” said Kyogo.
“So, I just smiled when I joined. Initially, my English ability was almost zero.”
“It’s better to be smiling than to be sullen because you can’t understand the other person’s words. Then everyone was so kind they talked to me more and more. Over time, my ears got used to it, and now I can understand what the manager tells me.”
He continued: “In terms of communication, it was great that three Japanese players arrived.”
“In the past, when talking about important things with friends, I often talked through an interpreter.”
“But since three people joined at once, the interpreter became busy!”
“I’ve been here for a year now, so I’ve come to think more about, ‘Let’s do it myself’.
“Originally, I was shy, but now I can speak positively.”
It’s great to hear that Kyogo is improving on his English and able to communicate better with his teammates now, both on and off the field. I can imagine it would be extremely hard to learn English and speak it fluently when you have come from Japan, which of course has a completely different alphabet too which I’m sure will only add to the difficulty.
I’ve always wondered if the club made our Japanese bhoys take English lessons, or whether that was left up to the individual players to decide if that was something that they wanted to do.
It’s definitely great that Kyogo can also speak with the other Japanese bhoys in their own language as well when they are together, I know some manager’s are a bit OTT and demand everyone only speaks English inside the club like Rafa Benitez apparently insisted on with the Spanish players at Liverpool, but as long as they are doing their best to learn English and speak with their other teammates, they should also be free to speak amongst themselves in their native language, which I’m very sure Ange allows them to do.