English for the nuts and bolts

English for the nuts and bolts of your company

I’ve been coaching German speakers in Business English for close to ten years. In the beginning of this career journey, I insisted my clients learn English to the highest level possible. I drilled them in the old-school grammar rules. For example, I thought it was of the utmost importance that they always remember the good old 3rd person S (he, she, it, das S muss mit), and I corrected their every little error ceaselessly and mercilessly. But the years have matured me and opened my eyes to the real nuts and bolts of international communication in English. I’ve come around to the realisation that native-speakers of English play a minor role in the business day-to-day, especially here on the European continent. Far more commonly, we find the German service technician communicating with the Polish plant engineer, neither of whom speaks perfect English and neither of whom needs that 3rd person S to do their work effectively. The important thing is that they communicate the relevant information accurately and don’t make errors that can lead to costly issues later.