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Train conductors in Japan 2017/12/14 08:59
Hi,
I have been to Japan several times, speak basic Japanese and been riding a lot of trains along the way (train is the way of travel in Japan IMO!)

I notice often that the train conductors in the japanese trains speak in a very nasal voice. Is this a way of being humble or so to say while speaking to passengers? As I understand it is rude to speak loudly in trains (even though I have heard some party happy people on shinkansen brawl around), so I thought this might be the case.

I also notice the train conductors are looking out through the window while the trains are leaving the stations. What is that for? Hasn't any conductor been injured doing this? Or maybe it looks like the lean out more than the actually do?

When riding long distance trains, the conductors at the departure of bigger stations or arrival of certain often talk very long. I am too non-fluent to understand it all, but what are they telling the passengers? Connecting trains?

What other things do the conductors do in Japan?
by Gonwild (guest)  

Re: Train conductors in Japan 2017/12/14 11:39
I am not sure if this is the true reason, but my friend who works in retail (and has to say a lot of irasshaimase douzo goran kudasai per minute) told me that if they spoke in normal voice their throat would get sore and hoarse much faster, while speaking in a nasal voice keeps the problem at bay.
So probably it is the case for train conductors as well who have to speak a lot?
by krr (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Train conductors in Japan 2017/12/14 11:43
I hit send too early.

I never questioned about conductors leaning out, but yes, when they speak a lot at or right before stations they are telling people the connections.
On Shinkansen, it can also happen that right after the train leaves the station, they will greet the new passengers and tell them the arrival times at each station.

Hope this helps!
by krr (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Train conductors in Japan 2017/12/14 11:53
I have heard, but not sure to believe or not, that train conductors speak, especially on PA system, in nasal voice to be heard more clearly.
by Honmakaina (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Train conductors in Japan 2017/12/14 21:47
Is this a way of being humble or so to say while speaking to passengers? As I understand it is rude to speak loudly in trains

No, it is not a way of being humble. To begin with, I've never heard of conductors in any country who shouts over the microphone. The reason of the voice used to be to make themselves clearly heard. Perhaps it had to do with the poor PA system and having to open windows when there was no air conditioning back in the days. But nowadays, most conductors speak in a normal voice. At least the younger conductors do. By the way, when they're not using the mic they talk very loudly, such as when encouraging passengers to get off after the train has stopped at its terminal station especially when the passenger has dozed off.

I also notice the train conductors are looking out through the window while the trains are leaving the stations. What is that for?

This has been asked before, and it's to take a better look at everything for safety measures. They are professionals. They don't get hurt. (However, even though they are professionals, once in a while trains accidentally leave without their conductors who had gone to the toilet in "emergency".)

When riding long distance trains, the conductors at the departure of bigger stations or arrival of certain often talk very long.

Everything is usually translated to English which follows the conductor's speech. They typically tell you at what time the train is scheduled to arrive at the major stations, and, as suggested, transfer options. It's generally the same things as what flight attendants tell you in your flight.

What other things do the conductors do in Japan?

Why not visit places like these and ask?
http://www.railway-museum.jp/en/
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Train conductors in Japan 2017/12/15 11:43
Recorded announcements on trains are the same in JP and EN. If there is an unexpected problem (injury, fault, suicide), you might hear a long announcement by the conductor or driver, only in Japanese, as they may not be comfortable speaking much English. On one occasion, after an extra announcement in only Japanese, half the passengers got off, crossed the platform and got on another train. I gambled and followed them, despite having no idea what was going on, and the train I moved to, departed first. Not sure what happened to the other one.
by David (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Train conductors in Japan 2017/12/15 16:44
1. When making an announcement, the rail staff put a finger over the handpiece and place their nose on their finger. This is to prevent them from breathing heavily into the mouth piece. Sometimes if they press to hard, then nose disfigures and becomes nasal sounding. Try it on your own nose. You can also view how they do this buy watching a rail staff member on a normal commuter train.

2. They stick their heads out the door to view for possible dangerous issue that may arise when the is moving down the platform. They have the ability to stop the train if a problem occurs. They will not fall out as the bottom of the window is well above the waistline.

3. Announcements made about delays or transfers for other lines, etc...
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

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