business / Economy / Multilingualism

English – the Business World’s Lingua Franca?

In my today’s post I am going to dig deeper into multilingualism and what it signifies in the world of business.

English as a Lingua Franca of  Business

What is a Lingua Franca? A Lingua Franca is a bridge language used to enable the communication  between people not sharing a mother tongue. On Regnum Financialis, a financial blog for investment awareness and exchange of information, this matter has been discussed recently. The author depicts that

“It’s an undeniable fact that in the 21st century English has become a worldwide lingua franca with native speaker of the dialect dwarfing its non-native speakers, roughly 80% of the English speakers now are non native speakers”.

According to the author and many other professionals English has become the language of international business, science, technology, education, entertainment, diplomacy (English replaced French after WWII) and aviation.

From Alexander Brown’s point of view not-into-English-translated publications of scientific research does not effectively access their target groups. He is a multinational master student at the UWE and has its own blog on the subjects of science, communication and bilingualism. However he has based his research on a post taken from the Oxford Journal “European Journal of Public Health”.

English- a Lingua Franca? Not in Hungary!

The Lingua Franca approach however has been recently disproved  by Hungary’s education state secretary  Rózsa Hoffmann’s who recently has been drafting educational reforms concerning the order of learning foreign languages. Bénédicte Williams emphasizes on her post  Hoffmann: nein to German over English in schools on The Budapest Times BlogWilliams explains

“that education authorities recommend German as the first language, instead of English, because its more complex linguistic structure would equip students better for learning further languages”

and she gives special emphasis on the fact that

“German nonetheless remains an important language in Hungary’s extensive engineering and manufacturing sectors”.

Most multinational companies require English and/or German skills in these sectors which becomes evident by reading Tammy Nagy-Stellini’s, a managing director’s, statement. In Gyõr and Kecskemét, manufactureres  expect their workers to at least be at upper-intermediate command of the German language.

“Bad English” as today’s Business Lingua Franca?

Reading further on Alexander Brown’s blog post “Bad English is the lingua franca of science” he claims that today’s Lingua Franca was rather Bad English. He obviously refers to all kind of international people making the same mistakes and by that developing a new level of the English language while still using the “same code”. He denotes a phenomenon that for example Turks, Spanish and Ukrainians could understand each other better (in English) than his slight posh British accent.

Referring to my first paragraph only 20% of English speakers are native speakers. 80% are non-native speakers who learnt the English language probably in their teenage years and subconsciously established their own version of the English language while exchanging with other like-minded people given the trend of internationalization, globalization and the work in multinational companies.

Is it still English being today’s Lingua Franca or is it rather its neologistic version?


7 thoughts on “English – the Business World’s Lingua Franca?

  1. Hey vikiibman,
    your blogpost is very nicely layouted. i like it how you emphasized your sources and quotes.That makes it easier to follow the text flow and kept me interested.
    I’m sure you have done a lot of research and you know quite a lot about this topic but the blogpost was a little to long and detailed for my opinion. last time in class we pointed out that we want to use not more than 3 sources for each blogpost. save the rest for later posts.
    though your headline could be more eyecathcing i like your question at the end of your post. I’m curious and can’t wait to read more!

  2. hey vikiibman,
    I enjoyed reading your post. the layout and your use of quotes make it very interesting.
    You showed, as carobremer already said, that you have done a lot of research but I also have to agree with carobremer that your blogpost is too detailed and therefore also too long, I believe.
    You could have used your information for 2 blogpost, so for next time better only focus for one part and so shorten your post.
    Good work, girl!

    • Hey guys! Thank you for your comments! Yeah I tried to keep it short but it somehow became a bit too long. I agree with you. However I wanted to represent those opinions that differ so much from each other. Next time, I will make a short one! 😉

  3. Excellent use of links, report structures: I get the feeling that you’ve summarized well and made connections. The others are right to talk about limiting to three positions, but you are free to go further, of course: some need to limit their time, others benefit from having to focus, but here I have the feeling that you got into the “flow” and got lots of return on your investment: good work! -b

  4. Pingback: Web Globalization – Lingua Franca = Web Localization? | Bizinga!

  5. Pingback: Web Localization Part 2: | Bizinga!

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