What is Business English?
In general, Business English is a form of English specially suited to international trade, commerce and finance. As such, Business English is the kind of English typically used in, for example:
- business meetings
- sales presentations
- business correspondence
- business reports
- executive summaries
Business English is normally seen as a specialism within teaching and learning English, and forms part of English for Specific Purposes. It is studied by many non-native English speakers who wish to do business with English-speaking countries—or with non-English-speaking countries using English as a lingua franca (by some estimates, at least 75% of all business communication worldwide is between non-native English speakers).
In fact, there is no globally accepted definition of Business English, but it tends to fall into two main categories:
Clearly, many of the English words used in business are specialised and would not be understood even by many native English speakers. Part of studying Business English is to study the vocabulary of business, which may itself be further specialised by activity or industry (banking, investment, import-export, oil, motor industry etc).
- Functional Language
Another aspect is the study and practice of the language and language skills needed to conduct various typically business functions such as running a meeting, negotiating or making a presentation in English.
Note that Business English may also be taught to native English speakers.