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English language essential to business in Europe

English language essential to business in Europe

Continental European business professionals use approximately 30 different English words every day and many think it is essential to understand English at work.

That’s according to findings from a pan-European survey, carried out by Pleon in eight European countries

The survey was conducted in Belgium, Italy, Croatia, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Spain and the Czech Republic to determine how English is used on the European mainland and perceptions of the language itself.

The findings show that not only do Europeans speak English on a daily basis, the majority are also sent documents in English and advertisers and marketers commonly use English slogans as part of their campaigns. For example a German beer, Asgaard, uses the slogan: Asgaard: Cheers to the Vikings!.  

English is so commonly used across Europe, that many countries have a new word to describe the unique mix of English with their local dialect, including Franglais (French and English), Denglish (German and English), Nederengels (Dutch and English) and Spanglish (Spanish and English).

The most common phrases include: no big deal, piece of cake, take it easy, what’s up, that’s right, of course, don’t worry be happy; which are used in all of the eight countries surveyed.

After English, French phrases appeared to also be popular, with many countries saying ‘c’est la vie’ on a regular basis.

Pleon UK CEO, Jennifer Helfer, said, “The English language is one of the most dominant in the world, second only to Mandarin, and this survey proves that English plays an important role in business communication.

“However, though the survey reveals the importance of the English language in European countries, it is imperative to also recognise local cultures and philosophies.

She added, “We appreciate that at the highest level it is important to communicate in one language and with one voice, but country by country, communication needs to take local cultures, behaviours and traditions into consideration.  

Pleon CEO, Timo Sieg, concluded, “Pleon believes that if clients take time to understand local cultures and markets, they will more effectively reach their target audience with the brand and message.”

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