terça-feira, 31 de agosto de 2010

What is Business English? Is it different from everyday English?

Dear Flabbergasting English followers,

I have been thinking about a topic for our next post. Nevertheless, I had run out of ideas and my friend Japa came up with this interesting topic: BUSINESS ENGLISH. What is it? What is it for? Should I use it? Is it mainstream English? Do people in general use it? Is the "correct" English? Those questions will help us develop this topic.

Firstly, I would very much like to introduce you, students and teachers, to a world where nothing is "correct" or "incorrect". Everything is judged by its appropriateness. There is no one correct variety of English, Portuguese, Spanish or any other languages. There are APPROPRIATE and INAPPROPRIATE terms, expressions, and idioms. That is, you should always recognize the context in which you are using language, and judge for yourself which words and expressions would best communicate your thoughts.

What is Business English? Here are some definitions:
  • Business English is English especially related to international trade. It is a part of English for Specific Purposes and can be considered a specialism within English language;
  • Language for business situations;
  • English in business usage, especially the styles and forms of business correspondence;
  • Useful language for getting a job;
  • Business English is a form of international English
Secondly, the last definition states that it is "international English". Thus, pronunciation would not be taken into consideration, as long as the communication is not affected. The point I am trying to make is that Chinese people, Brazilian people and others have different accents and ways of pronouncing words. If English is the lengua franca*, it does not make any sense to consider mispronunciation of a word.

lengua franca = The language taken as the international business language: English

People in companies use Business English, which tends to be more formal and grammatically correct because it would help people who speak English as a second language communicate to one another. The more slang terms one uses the harder the communication gets. 

1. "Yo, what it do homeboy? How's biz goin'?" = "Hi, how have you been? How is your business going?"
2. "Dude, that company where ya be workin' broke." = Believe it or not, the company where you worked has gone bankrupted. 

Those two examples help us see what APPROPRIATE and INAPPROPRIATE really is. The sentences in blue would be perfectly used in a loosen context while you are talking with you friends. However, they would be considered sloppy and inappropriate in a company.

It does not mean that in Business English there are not idioms. As a matter of fact, there are so many that sometimes, if you are not aware of what is going on, you might not understand them.

1. "John, you must solve this pending issue right off the bat." The idiom "right off the bat" means "immediately".

2. "I would like you to think about it in my shoes" The idiom "think about it in my shoes" means "put yourself in my situation"

3. "It seems to me that we have recovered from those losses, our account is in the black." The idiom "account is in the black" means "it has a positive extract"

Well, I hope it has help y'all understand what Business English is all about. See y'all on the next topic

Lil' Dawg
ESL Teacher 

5 comentários:

  1. Really awesome!! I love your hard work, Dawg!! This is very helpful! I have to go now, have to solve some urgent issues right off the bat!

  2. Good text, Dawg. I know too little about business English. Now, I have a brief notion brought by you. Congratulations!
    PS: How I wish my account were in the black! lol

  3. Hi Dawg :)
    This post was really helpful to me,mainly because I'm bound to do the TOEIC exam and I know that it is all about business...
    Congratulations for your whole Blog!!!

    Big Hug!!!

  4. I really like your Blog! Congratulations! xx

  5. Man... that is great!!!! i really like business things, anyways could you post something about company terms, some specific words, like "profits" "accounting", whatever, some usual words?? thanks my brother!!!!!