Contrary to popular belief, English isn’t the most spoken first language in the world. In fact, English comes in third. The top spot belongs to Mandarin with 955 million native speakers.
Nevertheless, despite not securing the top spot, English remains the most used language for business transactions and formal conversations. Most countries have English as part of their educational curriculum. Knowing how to speak in English allows a person to be understood in the farthest corners of the globe.
With that said, if you are thinking about entering the Canadian corporate world or opening your own business, it isn’t enough to be fluent in conversational English. In order to be taken seriously and to climb the corporate ladder, you have to be familiar with business english.
What is Business English?
As the name suggests, business English is a form of the English language that is used in an official capacity. It is the language used in international business transactions. While there is no globally recognized definition for business English, this specialism is often used in formal situations including:
- Business Meetings
- Sales Presentations
- Official Correspondence
- Annual Reports
Conversational english focuses on day-to-day interactions. More often than not, this branch of the English language uses slang and local vernacular. It is casual and informal. Business English, on the other hand, uses very specific vocabulary. It tends to be more complex and extensive.
Benefits of Learning Business English
In general, knowing how to speak in English already gives you a leg up in the international platform. However, becoming fluent in business English can be the difference between being stuck in a deadend job or closing on a multi million deal.
Understand Economics and Current Events with Business English
Much of economics and current events is written in business English. With that said, in the process of learning this form of the language, you would be exposed to global news and trends. The knowledge that you would accumulate would come in handy beyond your business english lessons.
Having a grasp of economics and current events can help you make the right decision for your career. It would allow you to provide your clients, employers, or peers intelligent professional advice.
Business English Encourages Cooperation and Teamwork
As with everything in life, communication is important in maintaining harmony and balance in any relationship. After all, it would be very challenging to come to an agreement especially if you don’t understand the person you are talking to.
In a business setting, good communication fosters cooperation and teamwork. These two things that are integral in ensuring the success of any transaction. If you work in a multinational company, being fluent in business English allows you to communicate with the risk of being misunderstood.
Business English Allows a Speaker to Sound Professional
It is one thing to be good at what you do, it is another thing to be able to come across as being good at what you do. Unfortunately, just because you are an expert in a topic in your mother tongue doesn’t mean your expertise would translate in English.
Learning business English will ensure that you sound professional to your peers, managers, and subordinates. It would increase your value in a corporation and it can improve your chances of moving up the corporate ladder or landing a deal.
Business English Can Get You the Job You Want
If you are trying to secure a job at a multinational company, being fluent in business English can give you the edge that you need to bag the position. This skill is invaluable for companies since most operations deal with international relationships. Having you on their payroll would ensure the success of various transactions.
Business English allows you to participate in high-level meetings. It provides you the means to present, negotiate, and give presentations impressively. It can help you stand out from the crowd.
Gain Confidence with Business English
Without a doubt, business transactions are intimidating. There is something so nerve wracking about being in a room full of people in suits eager to hear you speak. While learning business English wouldn’t necessarily erase your nerves completely, it can give you the boost in confidence that you need to perform well. Knowing that you are able to express yourself without the risk of being misunderstood is almost a superpower that you can use to your advantage.
Business english can give you a boost in confidence. Confidence that is enough to land you that promotion.
Learning Business English Made Easy
Business English is important especially if you want to advance your professional career. However, just because it is important, doesn’t mean that it is easy to learn. While there are some people who have a knack for languages, most people need a little bit of help.
Read Newspapers and Brush Up on Current Events
One easy way to improve your business English skills is through keeping up to date with current events. Reading through newspapers and watching the evening news can help you familiarize yourself with the terms that are often used in business and official transactions.
For the most part, you don’t have to buy a newspaper or subscribe to cable in order to have access to current events. Truth be told, your phone is a tool that you can use to read through business publications. There are free resources online that you can take advantage of.
Take Time to Review and Study
It might seem like a cliche but taking the time to study and practice your business English skills can do wonders to your progress. You don’t even have to dedicate several hours every day in order to brush up on your lessons. The important thing is consistency.
Set a study schedule for yourself and be strict with it. Assign a space in your home where you can study in peace. It doesn’t matter if you can only commit 15 minutes every day to your studies. These small pockets in your schedule would compound over time.
Keep a Journal
An easy way to remember terms and concepts is by writing them on a piece of paper. Writing things down has long been proven effective when it comes to recall and reinforcement.
It is a good idea to have access to a notepad at all times. This way you can take note of words that you aren’t familiar with but are interested in using in the future. Again, you don’t have to buy a big notebook dedicated for your business English studies - your phone is more than enough.
Talk to Yourself
Truth be told, there is something unnatural about speaking business English. Even native English speakers find this form of the language too rigid and formal. Practicing in front of a mirror is an effective way to be comfortable with using the words and phrases that you learn in your studies. Repeating these terms over and over again would make them less daunting to use.
Make this activity fun for yourself. Create hypothetical situations and conversations in your head and respond audibly to these prompts. You would be surprised by how much you can progress through this simple exercise.
Opt for Professional Lessons
Business English can be complicated especially if you aren’t fluent with conversational English in the first place. In these cases, it is best to opt for the help of professional tutors. Private classes can give you a safe space to learn and make mistakes without the risk of being embarrassed in front of a crowd. The right tutor would be able to give you the tools that you need in order to speak confidently.
Choosing the Right Classes for You
Taking business English lessons can do wonders for your professional career. Nevertheless, not all classes are created equal. There are factors that you need to consider in order to ensure that you are enrolling in the right business course.
Consider Your Goals
Learning business English can be extensive. Knowing the goals that you want to meet would help you connect with a tutor that is an expert in your specific needs.
Before talking to private teachers, it is best to take a pause and consider what you want to achieve with your lessons. Are you keen on learning business english to be a better negotiator? Are you interested in building your own business? Do you want to give presentations? These are the questions that you need to answer before hiring a tutor.
Consider the Logistics
Most people who are interested in learning business English are professionals. Most of them have 9 to 5 jobs. If you truly want to be fluent in this form of the language, you have to consider what is convenient for your current situation. To be honest, you wouldn’t be able to fully maximize your lessons if you are scrambling for time.
Thankfully, there are online resources available to you. Online lessons are best for busy professionals who can carve less than an hour for their lessons each week.
Without a doubt, learning business English can give you the edge that you need to advance in whatever field you choose to immerse yourself in.
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