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STUDENTS' CORNER - 120

In this session, we shall spend some time on Business English.
Business English simply refers to a kind of language that promotes business relations between parties of a business, a kind of language that aptly suits different modes of communication involved in business such as reporting, writing e-mails, making presentations, talking over the phone with the parties, addressing meetings and conferences, negotiating and at times designing an ad even with short effective sentences when the ad prepared by some agency is not up to the mark.
To achieve successful communication, the goal of any business correspondence or conversation, requires a very careful understanding of what words one uses. Many times, businesses suffer delay in effective transaction because of faulty communication which results due to certain barriers to communication which the speaker is likely not aware of.  Now, let us see what the common barriers to communication are.  Of course, the most obvious one is physical barriers. But, here, both the speaker and the listener will be aware of such barriers suffered by them.  For example, short of hearing is a common physical barrier; but, this will be rectified as soon as it is noticed. There are very effective hearing aids and no business man will ever hesitate to spend some money on such aid as both of them know well that with correct hearing business prospers.
Noise is a real barrier to communication since it disturbs the environment. Neither the speaker nor the listener will be inclined to engage in communication in a noisy atmosphere.  There won’t be any difficulty in addressing the barrier of noise. It is too obvious to be neglected or to be unaware of.
The subtle barrier to communication occurs when words are used.  It must be understood at the beginning itself that words need not mean the same thing to the speaker and the listener.  Most importantly, when using words, care must be taken to avoid using technical jargons unless warranted.  Some people again prefer to use ‘big’ words instead of common popular words. Morose is ok but sad is better. Showering encomiums is ok but praising is just better conveying the fact simply and immediately.
Cultural barrier is a big issue when people of different cultures meet; inconvenience is the most common experience in such situations.  The common cultural barrier is certainly language.  An Englishman in China does not know Chinese or the other way round. A Chinese in England does not know English.  For both of them, every day will be a challenge; but, of course, in business organizations, such situations are easily handled with good translators.  You could have seen two leaders of two different nations holding talks with the translators beside.
But the real cultural barrier occurs when it comes to the customs and practices of the different cultures. It is said in Greece nodding head means saying ‘no’ and shaking the head is to convey ‘yes’. 
We will spend some more time on barriers to communication in our next session.