There is no dissent in accepting that a person thriving for success in the professional field in the International arena or even in his own country should be proficient in all forms of English i.e. in 'Understanding English', Spoken English' and 'Written English'. This, of course, does not mean that all the countries in the world use English as the official language but most of the countries do. Most of the developing countries as good as 53 in number recorded so far, use 'English' as the 'Official Language'. So there are of course reasons for learning English. But what is 'Business English'? What are the differences? It's a bit tough to draw a fine line between general English and business English. Business English is not something alienated, it has some 'applied differences' with its' mother language. In simple language, it can be defined as a form of English, especially used for the International trade, finance, and commerce. It also requires core skills in fluency, reading, writing, listening and the application of linguistic principles. It is immensely important to have good fundamental knowledge of general English for switching over to business English to for being an efficient communicator. Let's come to more focused discussion. Why should one learn 'Business English'? The purposes are for • Participating in international business meetings. • The promotion of sales in the International market. • Presentations of sales in the International market. • International business negotiations. • Worldwide business correspondence. • Preparing well organized business reports. In real life situations, English has become the 'Lingua Franca' of non-native English speakers and study says as much as 75% of all worldwide communications between non-native English speakers are done in English. This form of business English is marked by a slightly 'different sort of vocabulary' and a 'typical functional language', to be exact it has got restricted vocabulary with some tolerance of non-standard grammatical usage. But both the 'restricted vocabulary' and the 'typical functional language' matter in International communication. Notwithstanding the 'flaws' of business English, there are reasons to learn it. Who should learn 'Business English'? Let's be specific. |
1) Those who handle International Trade: If a person is interested in the expansion of his trade and finds good reasons to deal with overseas buyers or sellers, in all most all the cases he will have to communicate in English. The communication here not only means spoken English but also includes written English in the form of Emails, Fax etc. So firstly a person, spreading business worldwide, has to be proficient in both the forms of English unless otherwise, his employees conduct everything. Whoever handles the communication, lack of knowledge to supervise the ongoing business activities is not prestigious for a CEO/MD of a company. Also, it is to be mentioned that business English includes 'specific business terms', for different businesses and in-depth knowledge of proper usage of it smoothens the business communication further.
2) Designated persons who represent his company in the international market: Often a multinational company or a company dealing with export/import , relies on a 'designated person' for handling foreign affairs. Such persons are recruited for the purpose of operating and handling foreign deals and are often send to business related foreign tours. The missions with which he is sent are like securing and finalizing deals, attending important business meetings. He is the person liable to represent the stature and status of his company. Individuals with shallow knowledge of business English fails to impress the overseas client, yielding an unsuccessful deal and definitely getting a thrashing from his employer and in worst case scenario losing his job.
3) Those who want to work in foreign countries: Persons want to work abroad and pursuing a bright career needs to have a command over business English as their job demands them to correspond different segment of clients and customers worldwide. They might also require giving presentations and finalize deals through negotiation with customers worldwide. Also handling business with expertise with the desired knowledge of business English on industry-specific functional language and terminology, which could include law, finance, medicine, IT, marketing or human resources and others, the persons could make healthy progress in their career. A good command over business English is an indisputable way to enhance one's career development. The researchers say, the demand for persons who are proficient in English, as well as have a command over business English is increasing in leaps and bounds and with rapid globalization, it has become a trend in choosing employees with a flare of all forms of the English language.
4) Students, want higher study abroad: What students have to do with business English? Students who go abroad for pursuing higher study on a specific industry, for example, a student who is a B. Tech. (Electronic) engineer goes to any foreign country for studying M. Tech. (Electronic). He must have qualified through authentic language testing system prevailing in their country and for that he had to prepare himself with proficiency in the English language. The testing parameter is based on knowledge of 'International English' and the student just needs to learn 'industry specific terminology' and 'some typical functional language' applicable to his sector of study. It means that he needs to learn applied 'Business English'.
As already mentioned It is very tough to draw a distinct borderline between 'General English' and 'Business English. While discussing this, might it sound a bit sarcastic but is applicable that, "When in Rome do as the Romans do". It's almost like that, to deal with clients and companies following the typical functional English that suits the situations is a must. This form of English differs from general English in certain business-specific terminologies. For example 'A.G.M.' means 'Annual General Meeting', 'Call Conference' means three or more persons are on a telephone call, 'A.O.B.' means 'Any Other Business' and so many of them are there, which are confined in the 'Business Dictionary'. The convergence of globalization with the massive communications exchanged, silently has given birth to a single common language for a single 'Global Market'. Companies' effort to keep pace with communications strategies have not been able to keep pace with globalization, rather multiplying and exaggerating the language problem to dampen the growth of every area of business. By learning business English one also gets accustomed with the official decorum, the etiquettes, the way of greeting and so many other manners etc. Thus learning the effective business English helps one on expanding the business, smoothen the career path, looking for a promotion or pay hike and contribute to one's professional progress. To keep pace with the rapid globalization scenario it is compulsory for a person to update with market demands to achieve a rewarding and enjoyable growth in business or work.
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