I recently heard Lord Sugar (a UK business guru) use the phrase export English in the context of simplifying your language when doing business with people for whom English is not their mother tongue. I agree with the general concept. However since Lord Sugar mentioned it, I have been observing how this works. I find myself speaking painfully slow and omitting anything grammatical which their language does not possess (eg articles) and I am wondering if I am overdoing it. I am thinking that someone’s listening ability is bound to be higher than their speaking ability. Also, is it really appreciated as it could come across as patronising.
I do not enjoy speaking that slow and having simplifying my language as you end up sounding so unnatural and deliberate in your delivery but ok if it has the desired result.
Anyone got any experience as to what works well for both parties?
I have heard of Ex-pat or international English, never of export. The idea behind is not to speak slower or appear to dumb down, but rather to use words that are simple and straightforward. Not to write sentences with ambiguities or nuances that only a Brit would understand. Rather than regional English, Expat or international English would use words that are closer to the local language. Mufti, khaki, bint etc are words that English soldiers brought back and then incorporated into their language. Expat language is like that.
Expat/international English might read:"If possible, we use international words. We make us understood by copying local grammar structures. We say what we mean, we do not imply. We don’t say “You must come for a cup of tea!” when we mean “Nice to have met you. Good bye!”
I imagine people like Friedemann, Bortrun and Steve could write reams about this.
Sanne T - the phrase “export English” I thought was coined by Lord Sugarbut it is possible he said expat English. Must be his cockney accent.
The girl here makes all the mistakes in the book:
Slow Down Laura! - The Apprentice, Series 6, Episode 8, Highlight - BBC One - YouTube
Your examples are what I am on about. Rather than saying “Can I have a second helping” you say something else as the word “helping” may be confused with help. I once heard someone say that. Avoid filling words, clichees etc.