English: What the (corporate) world speaks at work

Bhaveen Lathia and Hemangini Prajapati

Metaphors are often a good way to drive a point home. And, to create one, a metaphor that brings out the importance of the English language as a medium of communication is, “English is the salt of your business.”

Now before you start wondering where we got that one from, you have to see that the analogy is very true to life. Think about all the wonderful dishes cooked in your kitchen or which you eat at your favourite restaurant. If the salt is left out but all the rest of the ingredients are added in perfect proportion: the different spices, the gravy, filling, and the garnishing too… what do you get? You get an edible dish alright but not a complete culinary delight. The dish will be found wanting.

Just as salt is a key ingredient when it comes to food, so is English when it comes to professional communication. You can have all the skills you need to do a good job, to write that program, to create that balance sheet, to examine audit documents, and to evaluate tax returns. But if you do not have good command of your English, it takes the sheen off your otherwise flawless professional profile.

So, “English is the salt of your business” is a fair representation of the role that English plays in your job. For those of you who are wondering where we got this metaphor from, well, we cooked it up!

Now that we have established the importance of English in a professional’s life, here are some facts that will help you understand the significance of English in the professional world:

Who needs English in the professional world?
Everyone needs competent English language skills in the professional world. The degree of required competency might vary but the need is a fixed prerequisite.

Bhaveen and Hemangini both work as professional English language trainers in a multinational consulting firm. They can be reached at [email protected] and [email protected].

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