Business English is the most widely used language in the global workplace. Many international companies have made English their common corporate language – even those with headquarters in non-English-speaking countries, such as France, Finland, Germany and South Korea. Adopting the business world’s lingua franca ensures these companies can do business on every continent.
You’ll already know that a good knowledge of English is essential if you want an international career, along with all the travel opportunities that can offer. However, you can enjoy many more benefits when you improve your knowledge Business English. We look at 6 times it really pays to know this all-important variety of the language.
1. You can communicate better than native English speakers
You would think that, when it comes to using Business English, native speakers would have an advantage. Not necessarily so! According to Jennifer Jenkins, Emeritus Professor of Global Englishes at the University of Southampton, it’s native speakers who have “difficulty understanding and making themselves understood”.
There is a variety of reasons for this. Native speakers will often use complex language and speak too fast to be understood clearly by people who have English as a second language. Non-native speakers of Business English, on the other hand, will normally use a smaller vocabulary and simpler sentence structures. This can help make meetings and negotiations more efficient and reduce misunderstandings. Professor Jenkins also found that international English speakers will adapt their English to help the least fluent members of a group. Again, this helps people to conduct business more easily.
Given these points, a better understanding of Business English could help you communicate more effectively than native English speakers in professional situations. That’s got to be a goal worth aiming for!
2. You can avoid losing business
When it comes to written Business English, the more accurate your knowledge the better. But did you know that the quality of written English can directly affect business revenues?
Research by entrepreneur Charles Duncombe has found that a single spelling mistake on a website can halve sales. Part of the reason may be that poor English makes customers doubt a website’s credibility.
The message here is clear. The better your written Business English, the more professional you will appear – and it could also help you avoid lost sales.
3. You want to make better decisions
Researchers at the University of Chicago have found that people who think through problems in a second language make more rational decisions. This is because, when you think in a different language, you tend to think less intuitively and more rationally. As a result, you are more likely to take favourable risks when thinking in a second language. So, not only does a knowledge of Business English allow you to communicate with others, if English isn’t your first language it can actually help you make better decisions!
4. You want to develop new skills
If you want to develop new skills, knowing Business English gives you many opportunities. When you work with others who use Business English, you’ll be able to improve skills such as negotiating, giving presentations, taking part in meetings, writing reports, communicating via email and much more. The more you put your Business English to use, the better your professional vocabulary will become and the more effective you will be at your job.
5. You want to study for new qualifications
Many people get familiar with Business English because they realise it will help them study for new qualifications. If you have a good knowledge of Business English, you could develop it even further by studying for qualifications in English speaking countries – from MBAs to degrees in Business Studies.
6. You want to be informed
Last, but not least, an understanding of Business English allows you to access and understand a huge range of media, books and publications. From understanding the latest corporate news in the Financial Times to gaining detailed economic insight from The Economist, your knowledge of Business English will be vital to staying informed about finance, business and industry across the globe.
As you can see, it really pays to know Business English. If you do it can give you an edge over native English speaker, help you improve your professional skills and vocabulary, and can even help you make better decisions and avoid lost sales! If you’d like to improve your Business English, then we can help – why not sign up for live online classes with English Online today?