Advanced business English skills are an important asset for anyone doing business in Norway.
What is business English?
“Business English” is the catch-all term used for English related to international trade, finance and industry. Many non-native English speakers study business English as a career skill as opposed to the normal study of a foreign language.
In global business, a basic knowledge of business English is required to participate in the international markets, as cross-border and cross-continent deals are mainly done in English. The importance of good business English skills can no longer be underestimated in the age of globalisation.
The world’s language of business
It is difficult to obtain precise numbers of speakers of any language. Collecting that data is a near-impossible task, and just how do you count a speaker? Where is the cut-off point? However, estimates do exist and English is said to be the third largest native language in the world, behind Chinese and Spanish.
However, it is without doubt the most popular second language, and is arguably the most widely spoken language in the world. Because of this, English has become the de-facto language of global business.
The principal goals of business English are to get the message across and come to an agreement. As such, learning a business-specific vocabulary and the study of business customs in English-speaking countries are important elements of business English education. Writing a letter in English, delivering presentations, or negotiating a business deal are all a very different prospect from ordering a glass of wine on holiday.
Generally speaking, Norwegians have an excellent grasp of English in social situations. But I know from personal conversations that many business leaders feel underprepared when they need to use English in a business context.
How’s your business English?