Forcing business English?

I just came across a very interesting article in the Economist, ‘Business English: Useful, yes. But mandatory?’.  You can read it here:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/johnson/2012/04/business-english#comments

Ok, so an ability to speak pretty good English can help close a deal, it can facilitate better relationships with international clients and contacts and it can ensure better service.  However making the transition to using English as the exclusive corporate language requires a clear strategy and can quickly lead to conflict and confusion… What do you think?

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3 comments

  1. Gabrielle, interesting article. We´ve tried to help several companies in Spain and in their office across Europe implement English as their corporate language with varying degrees of success.

    A clear plan on how to do it is vital.

    Plus “Top-down decisions” without previous consultation, buy-in and poor communication of benefits for employees are usually doomed from the beginning.

    1. Thanks for your comments Christopher – you’re absolutely right, and your comments echo those of a number of other people I’ve spoken to. Transparent and timely relaying of information and adequate support for all employees are of course the key.

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