Geneva – The Organization of Global Languages has formally admitted Corporate English in to its long list of officially recognized languages, a rare moment as the last time this occurred was in 1997 with the inclusion of Ebonics. Languages are only admitted after thorough study and are held to a number of critical standards and attributes. The pioneering research and analysis that led to including Corporate English into the coveted list, was driven by the Linguistics Department at Cambridge University, which studied its use in over 30 countries during the last 7 years.
The lead author of the study, Henry Brunwhite said that he became so immersed in the work that he now primarily speaks in Corporate English rather than his native British English. “Going forward the visibility of this holistic language is mission critical. I expect it to become a core competency for the new economy,“ said Brunwhite, who then shouted the word alignment twice for no discernible reason.
Corporate English has developed over several decades, starting from its early days in streamlining internal communications and developing company culture in the US, to being exported globally, as many large American corporations developed strong global presences in the 1980’s and 90’s. “We now see entire generations of Chinese, Indians, Japanese and others, raised wholly on speaking Corporate English. They don’t realize that there is a difference between what they speak and how native British or American English speakers communicate,” said Global Languages President Emilie Earstein. “Once speakers of one dialect of a language and another can no longer appreciably understand each other, we then consider reclassifying the dialect as a new language.”
The Cambridge University report cites dozens of studies whereby Asian employees of a large corporation in which they had worked at least 5 years, were instructed to complete a number of communication tasks in English. A group of non-native English speakers, who had been immersed in Corporate English for years, were asked to explain how to cook a simple local dish to a native English speaker, a common test of communication. The testing found not one participant able to complete the task.
Dan Harrison, a researcher with the study added, “Responses ranged from vague to deeply unsettling in how uncommunicative they were. One participant spoke for nearly 10 minutes about his ‘core competencies’ allowing him to be ‘a team player in the kitchen’ and how ‘a holistic vision of best practices’ would ensure ‘value-adding synergy’. He never managed to explain how to cook anything, none of them did.”
However, when they re-ran the same task, but had participants explain cooking a dish to each other, they were highly successful at completing the task. Native English speakers understood nothing, but proficient Corporate English speakers were able to extract meaning, the study found.
Corporate English language courses are already springing up across the US, most notably a 1st edition by Rosetta Stone will be available in early spring. The highest demand for learning the new language has come from those in the tourism and service industries. “We have so many rich Chinese coming to New York City now, and it’s important that we can understand them,” said Roger Moyers of New York City’s mid-town Marriott. “Just today we had a Chinese guest who inquired about what ‘low hanging fruit was available to gain a holistic mission critical and value-adding experience without having to reach out too much’. Luckily our concierge staff are all highly competent in Corporate English and knew the gentleman was simply looking for the easiest and best sites to see in New York. Alignment!“