While on holiday in London, let the locals explain the way to the next bus stop with hands and feet? Child’s play. Watch your favorite Netflix series in the original language? Quite feasible. Write a polite and grammatically correct email to a business contact abroad in English? More difficult.
Although it is common in many professions to communicate in English these days, business English has its pitfalls.
“There is a pretty close linguistic relationship between English and German,” says Maren Pauli, Team Lead English and German at the Babbel language learning app. “That is why there are many parallels that make learning easier for German speakers.” This is exactly where the problem lies: We let our background knowledge mislead us and forget that the English language has different rules in some cases.
Also read: 13 things non-native speakers find annoying about English.
The expats and language learning experts on the e-learning platform have teamed up with Stephanie Schottel, Anna Beros and Nick Skoug from Talaera to address the question of the most common business English mistakes and have agreed on 30 points.
30 business English mistakes that Germans make the most, according to language learning experts
Do you fancy a round of quizzes? False Friends: How confident is your business English?
This article appeared on NewsABC.net in November 2019. It has now been reviewed and updated.