English is officially the most widely spoken language in the world with approximately 1131 million speakers worldwide. It also has the highest number of speakers who have adopted English as a second language, demonstrating the influence of English in international relationships from politics to business and beyond.
For any business with a global outlook, it is essential to be able to communicate clearly and effectively in English. Whether you have an international team or are negotiating with people who are speaking English as a second language, your business depends on your ability to convey information in English.
Here are four reasons why you need to prioritise business English for your team – and how to make it happen.
1. English is the most popular second language in the world
Out of the 1.13 billion global English speakers in the world, just under two thirds of these are people who’ve learnt English as a second language. This is a huge leap when compared to Mandarin – the second most widely spoken language in the world – where second language Mandarin speakers make up around 15% of the total speakers.
English is now firmly in the top spot for global communication between nations, cultures and businesses and a huge majority of English speakers today are second-language speakers. This means that in any situation, you run a high chance of coming across people using English as a second language so being able to communicate clearly and concisely with anyone and everyone is crucial.
2. It has a wide geographical distribution
If your company is aiming to do business globally, you might be interested to know that English is classified as an official language in 67 different countries worldwide, including economic superpowers such as the United States, the United Kingdom, India and Canada. To put that into perspective, Mandarin Chinese is only an official language in five countries.
Whether you’re negotiating a business deal, publishing social media content or networking with people in your industry, a strong command of business English will allow you to communicate with over half the world and create a positive impression of your brand.
3. There are important cultural differences to know
While English is widely spoken around the world and is a primary or official language in a huge range of countries, there are key cultural differences to be aware of. References that are understood in the UK or US will not necessarily carry across to other locations and visa versa.
As a result, good communication includes understanding how to write for a global audience using business-appropriate terminology. Communicating confidently and politely in business English will give you the foundation you need to make lasting connections with your clients and contacts, building bonds of trust and respect wherever you’re operating.
4. Good business English shows the world you mean business!
Demonstrating your business’ professionalism and proficiency in English through your website content, emails, presentations and meetings shows the world that you are an outward-looking company with an international mindset, opening your business up to new markets and opportunities.
At Business Writing Academy, we believe that any company can learn to master business English for a global audience. With excellent business English skills, you can unlock your business’ potential and harness the English language to communicate with audiences worldwide.
That’s why we’ve developed our online business English courses with you in mind. With a range of modules to suit every need and ability, we’ve got the teaching you know to bring your business into the future. Sign up to the course today or get in touch to find out more!