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Business Communication and Foreign Accents

» Business Communication and Foreign Accents


February 8th, 2010 by admin

Today, the world has become a melting pot of many cultures and regions. The corporate industry has also learned to evolve in its ethics, strategies and communication practices. Effective business communication is a very critical aspect for successful business deals and agreements. It is required for publicizing a product, service or enterprise, and any activities that directly or indirectly affect these areas.

Major sections that constitute business communication include advertising, marketing, customer support, public relations and consumer activity. In order to expand the business to reach more and more people, it is necessary to be familiar with the communication style and customs of the prospective customers. In addition, the business entities involved in verbal interaction face challenges in communicating effectively and efficiently as they frequently struggle with understanding accented English. Some of the issues that are regularly faced in business communication regarding the foreign accent include the following:

1) Waste of time, money and resources in trying to understand the other party: Communications done in fields like customer support and public relations cover a wide range of languages and cultures. The presence of a foreign accent when dealing with customer complaints and concerns may cause problems in clearly understanding the words said by the other party. For example: The native American English speakers pronounce certain words by combining two words to make one. These are called contractions (e.g. can’t, don’t, shouldn’t). Speakers of English as a second language very often substitute certain vowel sounds. For example “ship” may sound like “sheep”. These differences in pronouncing English can cause both parties to struggle to understand the basic meaning of what is being conveyed. This leads to inefficient use of time, money and resources.

2) Frustration and lack of confidence: For the reasons stated above, frustration and lack of confidence may prevail in both the parties thereby leading to fewer clients and finally impacting the business directly.
Successful business communication can be achieved only when such issues can be addressed. A business’ growth relies on its ability to connect and successfully communicate worldwide. This can be done by providing proper training and workshops for intercultural language awareness and English pronunciation to both native and foreign English speakers.
Source: EnglishWithoutAccent.com

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