When I first moved here, I still struggled with my English and especially with my pronunciation. I've got to say, one of the most useful things I did all those years ago – and still do today, in fact – was to practice my language skills with tongue twisters....
I remember one time we were coming out with a new product for a particular European market and had at first decided to retain the original name of the product. Lucky for us we realized before our product launched that the name translated...
I've been working in the finance sector since I started university, and over the years I have reached management level. My job requires me to speak two languages on a regular basis, something I found difficult...
I have been working for an international company in Cologne for far more than ten years now. I have to admit that it has been an adventurous time containing...
I've been at the company for almost a year, and in that time I've had numerous conference calls with clients and colleagues from all over the world - and all of those calls have been in English. At first it was daunting because I couldn't see the participants and was less sure of myself...
I've finally reached a point where I feel completely comfortable conducting business and writing emails in English, but it took me a long time to get there. One thing that helped was...
I always wanted to travel, so one day I decided to study Spanish, thinking that it would open some doors at work - and it certainly did, but...
I remember a few touchy moments when I first started. Cultural differences are a source of a lot of fun between us, but...
Imagine the following situation: When I picked up my car at the airport, I realized that the “boot” would not open. Asking the mechanic to check upon it, I received an astonished look in response.
Last summer I went to my first language camp and had the time of life, even though I had some problems at first because of vocabulary. I learned fast because I made a lot of friends and the trainers were great, but looking back there are a few things I wish I had done before leaving for camp.
Growing up I always thought that I had a firm grasp on how to negotiate cultural differences because of my interactions with tourists from all over the world who visited Salzburg. But when I first started my current job I realized that there were a lot of issues that can arise from simple cultural differences.
Generally I have a good memory, especially if I can take notes for myself. But I must admit, I've had periods in which my schedule was extremely hectic. Far too often, these were also times when I was given very important information in an informal setting-the kind of situation where I don't necessary have the ability to jot down notes.
Over the years I've become much better at planning and sticking to deadlines, but when I first started my career it was hard for my team and me. A few times we had everything planned perfectly only to find that it was impossible to deliver on schedule because of an unexpected issue. It was the sort of thing that we should have included in our time estimates but didn't.
I often had the impression that people weren't reading or couldn't understand my emails. Given the importance of emails in today's business world, you'll understand just how frustrating this was for me. I usually had to send yet another email to clarify what I thought was already clear in my first email. I've come up with some email phrases that help me, and hopefully now you, get the most out of email correspondence in English.
Whether you are looking for your first job or someone who wants to switch companies, a LinkedIn profile serves as a sort of digital CV that tells the world who you are.
I knew my English was good when I started the job, so I expected my first big meeting, which happened to be in Turkey, to be a big success. I was very wrong. The problem was that I neglected the importance of body language.
I remember once talking on the phone with a customer. I couldn't remember the English word for one of our parts, and rather giving some sort of explanation I just froze. After what seemed like an eternity the customer even asked if I was still on the line. It was hard to pull myself out of that panic, and I know I'm not alone in this sort of experience.
Often I discard what could be a suitable candidate for one simple fact: their resume was not up to par. Having just gone through the application process myself a little more than a year ago, I know first-hand how difficult it can be to present yourself on paper.
The thought of conducting a meeting in business English was daunting at first and my first experience was a complete disaster. To help you avoid a similar experience, I'd like to share some tips and useful phrases to help your next meeting along.
Negotiations are a key part of business, and conducting them in a foreign language can put you under a lot of stress. With my tips on how to negotiate in English, your next business negotiation will see an improvement in your skills - and the one after that as well!
Years ago I had a difficult time shopping in English-speaking countries because I just wasn't very secure with my vocabulary. And I definitely don't want to get bogged down in language difficulties when making an important transaction for that perfect pair of shoes or stylish set of cushions!
One day I met a woman from Canada named Bess who spoke six languages – and all of them fluently! I was impressed and daunted, but I overcame my fears and asked her in my broken English how she had accomplished such a feat. She smiled and said, "by doing what you're doing right now. I got out there and spoke each language."
Seeing a foreign number on my telephone display always used to make me nervous. I never knew what to say to my foreign colleagues. But now I've learned a few tricks and phrases to help me get the conversation started.