Five mistakes in business English
What feedback would receive an email sent to a foreign partner that would make room for common idioms like “ I wanted to make sure we were on the same page” or “I’m not at the top of my game today”? Though the message might be inferred, the wording would not prove the writer’s professionalism. In a competitive business environment, using business English may be a considerable advantage. However, accuracy is fundamental.
It is important to avoid 5 of the most important mistakes in using English in business :
1.How to start and finish a business email?
The basic rule is that, when we do not know the name of the person we are writing to, we should start with “Dear Sir”, “Dear Madam”, “Dear Sir/ Madam” and to finish it with “Yours faithfully” or “Sincerely”. When we write to a person whose name we know, we start with “Dear John” as a greeting and finish with “Best Regards”, “Kind Regards” or “Best Wishes”. In official writing, avoid phrases such as “I hope this email finds you well” or “Please be advised as follows”, and useful phrases may be: “I look forward to hearing from you”, “Please, let me know a convenient time for a meeting” etc.
2.Word order – specific to English language! For example, “They have not stated what was the purpose of the report” shows a word for word translation and Romanian word order. Therefore, when we communicate in English, it is advisable not to slip any mother tongue interference.
3.Pay attention to vocabulary. Though some words may have similar meaning, they may be used differently. For example, “ask” and “request”: “I have just asked the manager a question” and not “I have just requested the manager a question”, as the meaning of the verb “to request” is “to ask for something”.
4.Grammar rules are essential! One of the most common mistakes is “who/whom”: while “who” may be a subject, “whom” is a direct object. They are correctly used in the following examples: “Who is in charge of recruiting?” and “Whom should I contact regarding the payment of the bill?”.
5.Spelling is highly important! In addition to the challenges posed by homophones, spelling can be also troublesome in business communication: “arguement” instead of “argument”, “defiante” instead of “definite”, “pronounciation” instead of “pronunciation” are only a few of the most common spelling mistakes.
Business people who interact with foreign partners and customers admit the importance of correct use of English in daily activities. Obviously, mistakes in structuring the message, language and grammar mistakes require correction. Thus, Business English becomes an efficient communication strategy between cultures, and especially of establishing new commercial relations and economic growth.