Speak English like a Brit – do you really understand?
When you are in a Business English situation, sometimes people don’t say exactly what they mean.
Unfortunately, even when you speak very good English, a British native speaker might give a false impression of what they mean, because language can need heavy understanding of culture, not just words.
There is a new video series called „Speak Business English like a Brit“, but it could also be called „What the Brits say and what they really mean“.
It gives you deeper understanding of what a British businessman might be really thinking when he says a standard business English phrase… And this is all done with a little bit of humour.
A good language skill is needed.
To understand Business English, you need to have good language skills first and foremost. However, language is always heavily connected with the culture it comes from.
When a Chinese businessman says “yes”…
For example, in China if a businessman says ‘yes’ immediately to a deal, offer or suggestion, it can often end up being a ‘no’. The ‘yes’ is said to save losing face as that is part of Chinese culture in this situation.
In the same way, British speakers can seem to be very polite and well-mannered. But in actual fact, the politeness might only be an act. True opinions or intentions might be hidden by words that seem positive.
So when you learn English for business, you also need to have an awareness of the cultural background to be able to fully understand everything.