What Exactly is Business Language?



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Imagine a room where several people from all over the world have gathered in order to buy, trade, invest, or plan. What language would they use to communicate? Chances are the discussion will be conducted in Business English, as it is the language universally agreed on for international trade. Business English is a broad term that is used to describe the type of English used for commercial practices. Just in case you are wondering how many other ‘Englishes’ exist, realize there are numerous ESP’s or English for Specific Purposes, including English for Science, English for Academic Purposes, English for hotels and catering, and so on.


Much of the communication in global business circles occurs between non-native English speakers, many of who have studied the language with the singular goal of doing business with English-speaking countries otherwise known as the Anglosphere. The increasingly international nature of business makes it necessary for a common language to be used for efficient and effective communication between all parties involved.


Testden.com lists some of the most frequently used words for commercial and marketing practices: buy, sell, exchange, barter, trade, purchase, shop, customer, hire, rent, pay, fee, price, retail, wholesale, lease, mortgage, merchandise, commodity, goods, stock, office, factory, finance, money, funds, capital, interest, sum, amount, cash, balance, currency, bill, receipt, note, draft, check, bank, cashier, bookkeeper, stenographer, and clerk, just to name a few. One probably could add words such as contract, legal, lawyer, negotiation, proposal, and estimate, to name a few more.


A good list of business vocabulary, terms, and phrases useful for non-native English speakers can be found at Learn English Today, a website of free English resources for ESL-EFL learners of all levels (along with other helpful materials and topics).


But not all words are limited to business transactions. Sometimes it is necessary to learn Business English if you want to move up the ladder. Or perhaps you have to work in a team setting or improve your performance. Some Business English is also employed in communication that involves presentations, meetings, socializing, conferences, phone calls, report writing, emailing, and socializing.


Since Business English is a practical language application, it is likely that you will find the motivation to learn a new language for business or work to be completely different than what is needed for recreational language learning. Either way, whether it is for transactions or business communication skill, native speakers of English can also utilize this specialized variant of English in order to succeed in the business world.

Written by Marlene Martzke for English Classes by Skype


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