Whatever your nationality, you need to understand and be understood. The business world uses English as a Lingua Franca so this should solve the problem.
Does it? Not really.
International communication can still be more complicated and stressful than working with compatriots. This is bad news. It reduces the energy available for improving performance and creative thinking.
Some low-level but significant stress in international business communication stems from linguistic difficulties.
- It is stressful to listen to a speaker with an unfamiliar accent or way of speaking
- Speaking a foreign language creates stress: the fear of making language mistakes
- It is difficult to pronounce a foreign language clearly and recognisably.
It’s not fair
Some think it’s unfairly easy for Anglo Saxons. They think it’s easy for the British, Americans and Australians to do business anywhere in the world, because English is their native language.
It is certainly easy for them to speak and write in English. They don’t have to worry about being correct in grammar, choosing the right word, pronouncing it right.
In a business world where many people speak English as a second language, everyone has to work hard to understand.
Unclear, unfamiliar accents make it hard for both sides. Speaking too fast makes it harder. Using strange words makes it harder.
Anglo Saxons can make matters worse by speaking English too fast, using confusing metaphors, sharing jokes others don’t follow, not speaking clearly.
And non-Anglo Saxons make matters worse too. By speaking too fast, using strong and unfamiliar accents, unconsciously using wrong words and unconventional intonation patterns.
People get stressed when they have to work hard to understand you. Especially without breaks.
Opportunities are lost.
For instance, some Germans prefer to do business with other non-native users of English rather than with Brits and Americans. Why? Because they understand them better. Why? Because they use more understandable English than the Brits and Americans.
Multi nationality means understanding many accents
Teams with many nationalities create a listening challenge for everyone: everyone must work extra hard to understand each other.
The good news is you can learn how to use more understandable English.
Know what the problem is
Making your English understandable is based on knowing:
- The surface difficulties faced by foreign language users
- The practical and emotional impact involved
- Specific strategies which help without patronising
Fix it with our system
We have built up a deep knowledge of these elements over the last 40 years, through research, working with international business people who use English as a a second or foreign language, and through being foreign language users ourselves.
We’re delighted to share these insights and the solutions, strategies and tips we’ve developed. By using them, we communicate more effectively and make better business relationships more quickly in the international arena.
You will too.
Our system is based on a unique blend of linguistics, international and UK business experience, cross-cultural expertise and communication skills. It’s designed to help you increase your global business success, and make communication easier for all sides.We call it “Global Business Linguistics“.
Our International Communication services
To solve the problems that business and professional clients experience, both British and international, we have built a range of advanced business communication services including:
- Linguistic Insights for Foreigner Friendly Communication
- Business Speaking Skills – UK and International
- Business Speaking Skills – Diction Coaching
- International Communication Audit
- Build your Team Communication
- Business English Audit
- Accent Reduction
Start now: get our complimentary Guides
Fill in the form here to receive our Business Guide to Communicating Internationally. You will get four separate Guides, each with more than 10 practical techniques and tips:
- International English– General
- Visits, meetings and presentations
- Writing (emails, texts etc).