Is English the universal language for business? The simple answer is yes. According to the latest data published by Ethnologue, English is the most spoken language worldwide with 1.35 billion people speaking it, either natively or as a second language. Transcending into the business world, it has become the medium of communication for many companies across the globe.
Tsedal Neely, a Harvard Business School professor, stated that multinationals such as Airbus, Daimler-Chrysler, SAP, Samsung, Renault and Microsoft in Beijing have made English their official corporate language. Why? Mainly because having a standardized way of interacting amongst all company branches, suppliers, business partners, customers and other stakeholders ensures better collaboration with a unified messaging. From this reasoning, any company or individual with global aspirations is recommended to understand a certain degree of Business English.
What is Business English?
In general, Business English is a form of English primarily used for international trade, commerce and finance. More specifically, Business English is typically utilized in corporate meetings, sales pitch, negotiations, executive summaries, reports and business correspondence.
There’s a certain tone, vocabulary and etiquette in Business English that not even native speakers may understand. As such, it is important to realize which vocabulary is appropriate to use in different situations. For example, a sales pitch applies a range of vocabulary that’s more vibrant, short and impactful, with hints of an informal flare. Whereas official reports incorporate a more structured, detailed, and formal aspect of Business English. It strays away from the inflated yet colorful bravado of sales, and implements a more functional tone.
Why is Business English Important For Your Career?
Aside from English being the most spoken language worldwide, there are other elements of it that are needed in your professional career, these include:
Business English Jargons
Jargons are usually words/expressions associated with a certain field or area of activity. In Business English, there are particular terminologies that aren’t used in everyday life. For instance, in project management some common jargons can include: consensus, deliverables, and completed product.
In regular corporate operations, Business English phrases such as action points, due diligence, streamline, expedite, breakeven, and staying ahead of the curve are also common reference points. It’s even more prevalent in the IT field, with terms like cache, cookies, defragmentation, software licensing, and virtual private network (VPN). Regardless of what career you pursue, there will be some degree of Business English involved, especially in companies with an international presence.
Easier Global Acquisitions
Business English skills can help break down geographical and language barriers for those with global ambitions. Companies who have acquired international partners or subsidiaries need to communicate well with them to achieve a profitable exchange. As mentioned earlier, many multinationals have mandated English to be their corporate language. Anything from exchanging emails, hosting video conference calls to drawing up contracts with these types of companies would require an adequate level of Business English abilities.
The go-to language of the internet
According to Statista, English is the most used language online, which means much of the internet’s content is originally in English before being translated to the user’s preferred language. But what does this have to do with your career?
Almost everything because post-pandemic measures have forced most companies to advertise and sell their products online. Digital marketing is booming and has evolved to be the driving force for many industries, further blurring the geographic lines between markets. In fact, the Digital Advertising and Marketing – Global Market 2021 report states that both digital advertising and marketing is estimated to reach $786.2 Billion by 2026. The internet has become the most optimal mode of reaching target markets, both local and international. Being able to produce online content with Business English will enable you to engage with a wider range of audience.
In some vocations, no matter the location, Business English is mandatory or at the very least highly essential for the role. Jobs in Law, hospitality, translation and healthcare require a strong command in Business English – both spoken and written. Fluency can provide a distinct advantage over other candidates when applying for a job or work promotions in these industries. Moreover, daily operations are most likely carried out in English.
For example, working in a five-star hotel requires you to interact with guests from all over the word, and chances are they’ll probably speak to you in English. Those in managerial roles will often communicate with other hotel subsidiaries, partners, and the media using Business English. This can include booking reservations, drafting emails, partaking in meetings, and creating press releases.
Broadening your network
In many professions, such as business development roles, you’re encouraged to attend networking events to generate new leads or contacts. With Business English, you’re able to expand your communication scope and converse with a wider range of prospective clients. In these situations, you’d have to know how to properly introduce yourself, keep a conversation going, and leave discussions politely for an effective networking experience. Afterwards, Business English is further applied to maintain connections over emails, video calls, and consistent follow ups. All of which are essential to succeeding in this career path.
Conquer the world with Business English
It has to be said that Business English is not the only language spoken in the corporate world. In fact, the more languages you know the better because it enables you to understand and connect with local markets. However, with 1.35 billion people using English worldwide, it’s only natural that Business English has become the common ground in which multinational companies communicate with.
If you’re an individual looking to network globally, or a company ready to expand overseas, then learning Business English is the first step to your new journey. Ready to start? Look no further, because G2Academy offers an intensive Business English short course to help grow your vocabulary, understand grammar, conduct business correspondence, and many more practical skills applicable to real-world situations. For more information click here.
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