Thursday, January 29, 2009

Speaking the corporate language...

Now, my wonderful company is a multi-national corporation with the head offices in Europe, it's of a fair size, but hardly up there with OCP, General Motors or any of your major energy, finance or pharma companies. But as it is a multi-national company with a bunch of people working together from different countries and different continents and countries, this means that an official corporate language has been set.

Our official corporate language is American English. Now, this is probably what some people would like to think that the language is, in reality our corporate language is some form of unexplored pidgin English with a number of different variants out there. I readily admit that my English grammars and spelling is not perfect, but compared to what can be seen internally in the company I'm waaaay above average.

Even people in the highest of corporate management function can find ways to butcher the English in their official communications (even though there is a supposed safety net of people checking it before releasing it).

Following an exchange involving a French colleague, an Italian collegue and one of my Japanese colleagues can give me a blinding headache trying to dechipher what they actually want to say and it's not American English anyway you look at it... I'm sure I will come back to this subject at some point and especially the interesting e-mail culture that we have...

4 comments:

ThePenguin said...

What your company needs is a 360-degree blue-sky vision with 24/7 input from all stakeholders on a going-forward basis for making clear, correct English one of the core values of a synergistic, dynamically customer-facing organisation dedicated to the challenges of a globalised, international economy.

Mr. Salaryman said...

Believe me Penguin, I've heard it all! Try talking to an american insurance company executive and you'll be floored by the amound of nonsense business jargon that can be spit out over an extended period of time with nothing actually being said!

Anonymous said...

What? But don't you speak Japanese at work?

Mr. Salaryman said...

Hi "Anonymous"!

Thank you for all your comments, I have of course read them all and I hope you have found some of it entertaining!

To be honest, with little baby Sunshine, my time is a bit limited so I can't really answer all the comments, but please continue anyway if you want to since I read it all and when you're finished, you can send me a mail at tokyosalaryman (at) hotmail (dot) com with any questions or stuff you're curious about and I promise that I'll answer to the best of my abilities!

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