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 Blog. Williams 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.