Business English Course For Understanding Managers and HR

 In Business English

Online Business English Course For Understanding Managers and HR

Working in an English-speaking company can be confusing for non-native speakers – even if you have a pretty good grasp of general English.

The difference between general English and business English is that the corporate world uses jargon and idioms which can sound like absolute “gobble-de-gook (nonsense).

The objective of our online business English courses is to help students understand conversations in the workplace. In this article, we focus on some of the expressions typically used by managers and HR professionals.

For example, we will focus on words that you will typically hear managers mention in a meeting such as:

  • Maximise
  • Motivate
  • Bottom line
  • Resolve
  • Implement

Just as importantly, we will introduce you to common expressions you will often hear in the corporate world. Native speakers sometimes sound as though they are talking in riddles.

For example, if a manager comes over to your desk and says “Sorry I’ve not had a chance to touch base, I’ve been flat out.”

Would you have a clue what they had just said to you?


Weird business English idioms

When you speak with English people, they don’t often realise that common expressions in English are confusing for non-native speakers.

If you work in a corporate setting or have aspirations to work for an English-speaking company, you will need to learn common business English expressions…otherwise, you will lose track of what people are discussing in a meeting.

You will probably even encounter some uses of business English idioms before you even start working in a corporate environment. If you have an interview you may hear HR professional and managers use expressions that just sound weird.

Let’s have a look at some examples.


Ballpark figure

During an interview, you may be asked “What salary do you expect to be paid? Just give me a ballpark figure.”

A ballpark figure refers to a suggested amount somewhere in the region of the salary you would like to be paid.


Show you the ropes” and up to speed”

Native speakers sometimes throw two idioms into the same sentence. This can be doubly confusing.

For example, on your first day in a new job your manager may say something like:

“I’m going to leave you with Sarah so she can show you the ropes and bring you up to speed.”

When somebody “shows you the ropes” they basically teach you how to do your job. This sentence simply means Sarah will train you.

To “bring you up to speed” means to tell you everything you need to know to complete a task or project.


Touch base and Flat Out

In case you were wondering what the expression I used in the first example at the top of the article:

Touch base is similar to ‘catch up’ and ‘have a chat’. When your manager touches base with you, they are just want to make sure everything is okay.

You would use the term ‚flat out’ when you are very busy.


Learn Business English Online?

If you have an upcoming interview or you recently started a new job, get in touch and ask us about our online business English courses.

You have the option to learn online, or if lockdown restrictions are permitting, in the company of one of our native English teachers in Vienna.

Our native English teachers have years of experience working with professionals across numerous industries and will help bring you ‘up to speed’ with English idioms so you can understand managers and HR professionals from day one.

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