Businessmen and entrepreneurs face many challenges during the course of forming their businesses and running their companies. But for businessmen whose businesses involve overseas operations, a linguistic barrier must also be overcome.
The UK government has recently said that British businesses that trade overseas or has overseas operations must be able to speak the language. And surprisingly, that language is English.
The UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the government’s support service for international traders, has realised that there is a need to address the growing language barrier between UK businesses and their overseas interests and counterparts. To address this issue it has announced an event in November that aims to help firms from the East of England improve their English language skills.
According to the UKTI, even though many businesses that trade overseas have foreign language skills, a good number of them still rely on their customers to speak English. But more often than not, these customers may speak English but not fluently. Because of this they get easily confused with business owners and managers who would naturally rely on slang terms and colloquialism in their speech that is unfamiliar to the customers.
The UKTI said that it has noticed that UK businessmen not only resort to unfamiliar expressions, they also tend to speak quickly.
The November event aims to help businesses that has international exposure and interests to assess how they communicate with their overseas customers and think of how they can improve “understanding between both parties by making a few small changes to the way they use the English language.”
The event, dubbed Speaking English to Foreigners, will be held on November 9 at the Priory Hotel in Bury St. Edmunds.