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
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
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