A load of Globish – overcoming the language barrier in business

02/03/2012 | Rebecca Twose

Jean-Paul Nerrière thinks he has found the answer to the language barrier in business – Globish.

English is the language of business, and although business is global, only a small proportion of people speak English as their native language. In addition, English is a notoriously difficult language to learn. So what is the answer?

Whilst working as an international vice president of marketing at IBM, Nerrière noticed that non-English speakers communicated at conferences in very similar ways. He observed that:

when a Japanese employee met a Belgian, a Chilean and an Italian, they managed. None spoke English brilliantly but each knew the others were making mistakes too. When an American or British manager walked in, everything changed. The native speakers talked too fast and used mysterious expressions.

He concluded that the way they were communicating could be refined and developed, almost into a language of its own. The secret was to reduce the amount of words in the English vocabulary and avoid figurative languages or jokes.

Putting his theory into practice, Nerrière came up with a list of 1,500 English words that he believes are the only words necessary to express anything, and sensing a market amongst business professionals and entrepeneurs, he has gone ito business training people how to speak in this particular way. If you want to see this language – which Nerrière has termed Globish – in action, you can visit the website, www.globish.com and watch a seven-minute video done entirely in Globish.

What do you make of it? Is this the answer to the language barrier in busines, or does it sound more like gobbledegook?

Image from Victor1558

4 Replies to “A load of Globish – overcoming the language barrier in business”

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    • Hi there, thank you for your comment. I’m glad you liked the post. As a Spanish teacher, perhaps you would be interested in reading some of our posts on language learning?

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