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商務美語及生活會話的最大差異
The biggest differences in business English and conversational English
巨匠美語專任講師:Jack Bellows
現在請你回想在餐廳與服務生的對話。這位服務生在幫你點餐的時候,他說話的語氣及用語一定不像他跟男女朋友一樣,例如他不會說”親愛的,你要不要試試看我煮的咖啡呢?"餐廳服務人員點餐用語通常都會有一定的格式及標準……
商務美語及生活會話的最大差異
試著回想看看你上次與朋友ˋ家人或是男女朋友之間的對話。這些對話的方式都一樣嗎?答案應該是”不一樣”。你跟朋友說話的方式應該跟和你與家人說話的方式不太相同。

現在請你回想在餐廳與服務生的對話。這位服務生在幫你點餐的時候,他說話的語氣及用語一定不像他跟男女朋友一樣,例如他不會說”親愛的,你要不要試試看我煮的咖啡呢?
"餐廳服務人員點餐用語通常都會有一定的格式及標準。

以上的情況其實也可套用在商務的場合中。我們在會議裡,接聽商務電話,客戶服務,或是銷售的用語都會跟與家人的對話方式不盡相同。

其實簡單來說,字彙ˋ俗語ˋ文法ˋ前後文關係,都是影響商務美語及生活會話差異的原因。

 

字彙
舉例來說,當你到超市要買水果的時候,你會想到要"蘋果"或是"香蕉";但是在商務的場合中,我們會用"商品"來形容我們想要買的東西。一顆蘋果會是一個"特定產品"或是"品項"。

俗語
在一場爭執中,也許你會對著某人大吼說"快點解決問題!";但是在商務場合中,直接表現出你的憤怒或者是用太直接的話語對同事或客戶說話,都不是最佳的解決方式。

例如我們可以使用俗語,例如"strongly look for ways around the issue”,就是"強烈建議找尋解決問題的最佳方法"。另外一個例子是"to be in the black”,用來形容有盈餘ˋ結餘。

文法
在生活會話,我們通常混合使用文法,但是基本上我們還是遵守教材規則。在商務美語,我們通常混合或將文法配對使用;我們甚至把動詞改成名詞,名詞改為動詞。

事實上,我們有時會省略句子的主詞或受詞。舉例來說,Google the wordage, if you don't catch the meaning這句話當中我們就把Google當成動詞來使用。

前後文關係
最後,兩種會話方式當中最大的不同點就是前後文關係。在生活會話中,大多數人習慣用非直接方式,慢慢的來說故事。商務會話裡,時間就是金錢,所以商人喜歡開門見山。也就是說,不要浪費時間,直接切入你的重點。此外,在商業互動中,了解什麼時候可以開玩笑,什麼時候不可以也是非常重要的。

The biggest differences in business English and conversational English
Think about the conversations you have with your friends. The last conversation you had with a boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse. A phone call to your family. Are all of the conversation styles exactly the same? The answer should be “no”. How you speak to your friends is a little different than the way you speak with family.

How about when you go to a restaurant? When the waitress takes your order, she doesn't talk to you the same way a loved one does. It would be very strange if she said, “Do you want to try my coffee, my sweet darling”. Waitresses use language that is only useful in restaurants but would be too formal in casual situations with friends.

The same is true in business situations. The rules for communicating in meetings, phone calls, customer service, sales and more are different than the rules for talking in your home. But what is different?

The biggest differences in business communication and in social conversations are: vocabulary, idioms, grammar and context.

 

Vocabulary
When you go grocery shopping, you might look for some fruit. For example, you might want an apple or a banana.But in business, we talk about “product”. And an apple is a “specific product” or “an item”.

Idioms
In an argument, you might shout at someone to “fix their problem”. But in business, it is inappropriate to seem angry, to shout and to use too direct language...especially if the person is a colleague! Instead, we tell them to “strongly look for ways around the issue”. (“a way around+the s/th”) Another idiom is: “to be in the black”. In other words, to have a profitable account for your records.

Grammar
In social situations, we mix up grammar but generally stay within textbook rules. But in business English, we often mix and match grammar. We might even change verbs into nouns, nouns into verbs! In fact, we might even drop the subject of a sentence, or even the object! For example,” Google the wordage, if you don't catch the meaning.”

Context
Finally, context is a big difference in these two styles of speaking: in conversation English, most people use an indirect style, taking their time to tell their story. In business situations, “time is money”, so businesspeople prefer to “get the story straight”. In other words, don't waste people's time; get to the point of your topic.And knowing when to tell a joke and when not to is critical during business interactions.

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