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News Japanese students helping foreigners avoid food mishaps

thomas

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Three Japanese high-school students have created illustrated English food labels to assist foreign residents in avoiding mealtime mistakes, such as Muslims inadvertently consuming items containing pork or non-Japanese speakers purchasing the wrong products. These labels have been positively received at a convenience store in Hashimoto, Wakayama Prefecture, and the trio received an award from Umedai, a general incorporated association that promotes forward-looking education.

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The three students at Wakayama Prefectural Hashimoto High School, Hinayo Inui, Hiyori Imaya and Miyu Fukui, started the project in the fall of their second year as part of "integrated exploration time," a program aimed at contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They initially asked their school's American assistant language teacher (ALT) about the language challenges she faced. They were surprised to learn that shopping beat public signage at train stations and elsewhere as her most significant issue. The students surveyed foreigners from countries like the Philippines and Nepal who attended a local vocational school, and they collected responses from over 30 people. The answers highlighted problems such as accidentally consuming religiously prohibited foods and excessive shopping. With the cooperation of a local FamilyMart convenience store with many foreign customers near Hashimoto Station, they began posting labels with illustrations and English descriptions in front of products in November 2023.


For instance, a ham cutlet sandwich was labelled "Ham cutlet" in English and featured a pig illustration to indicate that it contains pork. This approach was extended to around 100 items, including onigiri rice balls and fried chicken. The students' idea aimed to bridge language barriers and make it easier for non-Japanese speakers to understand the products. The store manager praised their innovative approach, noting that foreign customers now understand the items' contents more clearly, leading to increased purchases.


:LOL:

 
Three Japanese high-school students have created illustrated English food labels to assist foreign residents in avoiding mealtime mistakes, such as Muslims inadvertently consuming items containing pork or non-Japanese speakers purchasing the wrong products. These labels have been positively received at a convenience store in Hashimoto, Wakayama Prefecture, and the trio received an award from Umedai, a general incorporated association that promotes forward-looking education.






For instance, a ham cutlet sandwich was labelled "Ham cutlet" in English and featured a pig illustration to indicate that it contains pork. This approach was extended to around 100 items, including onigiri rice balls and fried chicken. The students' idea aimed to bridge language barriers and make it easier for non-Japanese speakers to understand the products. The store manager praised their innovative approach, noting that foreign customers now understand the items' contents more clearly, leading to increased purchases.


:LOL:

I can see how that would be helpful. Though the picture used is perhaps a bad example as the package clearly says "Scrambled Egg" in English on it just under the Japanese. :D

I have no religious food restrictions but I'm not eating roe anything, so it would be helpful to avoid things like that. :LOL:
 
I was in Japan a couple weeks ago and a colleague came in for four days and it was a bit tough finding food for him. Ironically he's not a vegetarian but he's a Muslim who only eats Halal. So he wouldn't eat any non-Halal meats of course but also no dairy products such as cheese if it wasn't halal certified. Luckily the closest restaurant to our office is a Nepal restaurant. I think he had three lunches there in a row.
 
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