LEGO Group recently formulated a new global Language Policy. The company is now looking for a project manager to "establish English as the corporate language and reinforce communication by breaking down language barriers" (Interested in the job? Apply here).
According to the job posting, the purpose of the policy is twofold:
"Firstly, to enable our employees to communicate in English at a level that allows them to actively enter into the collaborative networks and relations that are necessary for them to perform at their very best. Secondly, to ensure a sufficient level of communication in locations and with stakeholder groups, where local languages are a better and necessary alternative."So, while Google Translate may indicate that it's no longer necessary to speak English to use the web, the use of English as the lingua franca of business is still growing.
But while it is relatively easy to advocate the use of English across a corporation, it's much harder to determine what constitutes "good" (or even just "good enough") English.
In a recent article [original Danish; Google Translate's version of English] in Kommunikations Forum, Jørgen Christian Wind Nielsen makes this very point. He asks what exactly it means to be good in English. Is it the ability to discuss issues with colleagues, make small talk, hold polite conversation, do bookkeeping, or author legal contracts?
Just like with translation quality, appropriate language use lies in the eye of the beholder. "Broken English is the language of the world", as the saying goes...
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