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The importance of English in international business

The main factor involved in the importance of English in international business is the acceptance of English as the international language of the business community for the purpose of uniformity in communication. Accepting English eliminates the need to explore an alternative language. If not English, what language works best for the international business community?

English as an international language

Perspective of English as a global communication

If English as a global language “means that English has the widest distribution on most continents, it is true. If it means that English is the most widely used language for international communication between language communities, it is true. But if implies that English is the language of all the peoples of the world, it is manifestly false ”(Harris, 2001, 685). What may be good for the functionality of the company may not be accepted as good for the non-business community. Any new project or company, product or service research and development must be done in such a way that the words used to communicate with the new market are not received with offense. Be sensitive and respectful of decisions made regarding the ways in which the communication is used and written.

Perspective of English as a Learned Communication

“It is essential that students are equipped with, and are aware of, both the linguistic and strategic repertoire that they can take advantage of in situations where they use English to communicate with those who do not share their first language and culture. Development of competence strategic, students should also remember that communication is a two-way street. That is, making one’s message clear and trying to understand others is not the sole responsibility of non-native speakers or speakers of varieties of language. ‘Less standard’ English (However, Everyone is responsible for the success of global communication, international or not “(Matsuda and Friedrich, 2011, 340). Note that words may have different meanings in different parts of the same country. Therefore, having words that have a different meaning in different parts of the world is a reasonable possibility. There may also be di different versions of English in different places. Business English could also be different from the native English of an English-speaking country. Do not assume; technology has been made available to know with certainty what is involved in any given business project or transaction.

English in International Business Communication

“When thinking about the impact of English on international business, there will be two effects: the intra-language effect and the inter-language effect. The intra-language effect would be related to the impact that English has on the stimulation of international commercial activity among English -countries speakers “(Hejazi and Ma, 2011, 153). If the native English of each of the two countries is slightly different, you might still have the feeling of dealing with a non-English speaking country if you don’t take the time to come to an agreement that defines business English. Business professionals new to a market will benefit from discovering how things work and using the same language that other market stakeholders use.

“The interlinguistic effect, commonly known as” lingua franca “, refers to the impact that English would have in stimulating FDI activities between countries that have different official languages. The interlinguistic effect would have two dimensions: the first involves the use of English by a non-English-speaking country when conducting international business with English-speaking countries; the second involves the situation in which English is used as a vehicular language between two non-English-speaking countries that use different official languages ​​”(Hejazi and Ma , 2011, 153). Although cooperation in the use of English in both cases can result in positive benefits for the countries involved, sensitivity must be exercised in communication to avoid communication errors that may offend members of the markets involved. Good judgment in word choice is very important.


The importance of English in international business will depend on the purpose of the communication for which English is involved. Since the importance of English will vary depending on whether its use helps to complete business transactions, the deciding factor will depend on the opinion of users on that fact. Successful communication in business will involve other factors. The more English is used in communication for international business, the more it will be used. It will then be used because it is used by the people that companies want to communicate with.


Harris, CD (2001, October). English as an international language in geography: development and limitation. The Geographical Review, 91, 4, 675-689.

Hejazi, W. and Ma, J. (2011). Gravity, the English language and international business. The Multinational Business Review, 19, 2, 152-167.

Matsuda, A. and Friedrich, P. (2011). English as an International Language: A Curriculum. World Englishes, 30, 3, 332-344.

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