Mark Bransby

Profesor de inglés

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Colourful Business English

From General To Business English: Same Language, Different Purposes, Lots Of Colours

business english

If you are looking to conduct business with English speaking companies, particularly those that focus require focus on legal matters or contract terms and conditions, why is it desirable or even necessary to learn day to day conversation about the weather, colours, where you went on holiday, likes and dislikes etc?

There is no doubt that a course in Business English concentrating on providing the tools to, say, negotiate the terms of a contract or review a company balance sheet can be invaluable. However, apart from the fact that the English language is rich in idioms that are used in all walks of life (including business), the ability to form a professional relationship will be greatly enhanced with a more rounded knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and topic awareness.

A client may wish you to clarify ‘the fine print’ or ask you to ‘read between the lines’ because the law can be a ‘grey area’ and a ‘minefield’. It is essential to appreciate what they are asking. At the most basic level, a request to review the terms on page 3 would prove to be problematic if you don’t know what the word ‘page’ means and an obstacle to forging that relationship of trust.


Understanding your customer and speaking their language


business english

Learning vocabulary relating to, for example, colours and shapes enables us to to understand why a client’s business or marketing strategy focuses on exploiting the success of selling their blue square model rather than their green triangular one. Colour idioms are very common; there is one quoted above and when there is mention of the problem of ‘red tape’ or a problem that has come ‘out of the blue’ you will want know what the client is referring to.

Taking matters further, when forging relationships with overseas clients these are based as much on mutual understanding, talking about experiences and engaging with people on different levels, as well as demonstrating professionalism.

In conclusion, building a knowledge of specific business English forms only a part of filling that toolbox with all the skills necessary to foster and develop close relationships with such companies.
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