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English is used over the world though every country has its own specific words and dialect which is not common to the countries. Nonetheless, it has been accepted as the international language where all the meetings and signing of documents between different countries and organizations takes place in English only.
Though English is a universal language, there are problems faced by people across the world related to English. In order to identify these problems faced by different countries, we have interviewed two Professors to determine the types of communications common in their business, their extent of technological developments and the various problems faced by them in their respective countries.
Sana, Professor in Al Ghurair University, is a citizen of United Arab Emirates. She was in India as a part of her research on Cancer Gene Therapy and we were fortunate enough to have a brief talk on the methods of communication, technological advancement in business fields and the problems faced by Sana with the language English in her country.
According to Sana, there are several types of written communication related to her career like email, memos, proposals, reports, letters etc. These are the commonly used mode of written communication all over U.A.E for business purposes. The language of communication is usually English whereas the localities prefer Arabic over English. This becomes a problem for non-localities or people with no knowledge on the language Arabic. Similar problem arises even with oral communication. People with good fluency in Arabic tend to have a upper hand in oral communication with the localities when compared to others.
Since Sana is in a good habit of reading newspaper, she was able to share an information from Gulf News, a local newspaper of U.A.E stating that U.A.E ranks number 1 in Middle East and North Africa issued by the World Economic Forum for building a knowledge- based economy that is flexible and varied with a focus on excellence and innovation. This statistics shows that U.A.E is developing at a consistent rate technologically.
When asked about the problems with the English language faced by her countrymen, she responded by saying, "English has become the default language of business and more, upsetting local purists". She also stated that the Arabs do not take a risk of losing their own competive edge by using English in their official capacities. In her workplace, Arabic is the compulsory language to be used within office premises, but this rule is not followed by most of them since the majority of the workers are non Arabs.
The commonly used slangs in Arabic language as per Sana are as follows.
Kefa halak - how are you?
Al hamdul illah, zain - fine by God's grace.
Maafee - sorry.
Khalli valli - just let it go.
Yel a - hurry up.
The other person whom we happened to chat through internet was Pierce, Phd, management and technology who is a citizen of France working as a faculty in Grenoble Graduate School of Business. When asked about the forms of oral communications followed in his school or by his countrymen, he responded by saying that "we commonly communicate through staff meetings, personal discussions, telephone discourse, presentations and informal conversations within our organization. A face to face meetings, telephone calls, video conferences or teleconferences would be the way of communication outside the organization". He also mentioned that the influence of voice modulation, pitch, clarity of speaking and even speed are taken into consideration during spoken conversations or dialogues.
The written communication in France is found to be similar to that of U.A.E like emails, memos, proposals, reports, letters, contracts, forms, etc. The effectiveness of written communication in business in France depends on the clarity and precision of language, the vocabulary and grammar used and mainly the style of writing. It normally used to be official and straightforward with a formal purpose.
Since Pierce had done a thesis on the technological development of his country, he was able to provide us with a good insight on the recent progress in technology of France. According to him, France falls first in the technological progress in several fields. He said that his country is responsible for monitoring and technical management of Ariane, the operational launcher of several communication and observation satellites of the European space program. France plays an active role in generating unlimited source of non - polluting electricity using the energy of nuclear fusion. There is also a great level of advancement in the field of biotechnology. They have found new ways of curing Cancer using advanced technological equipments. Means of communication and information exchange is getting revolutionized in digital society. This is due to the creation of new technologies, their protection and broadening of their access to as many as possible.
When asked about the problems with the English language in his country, Pierce had to say this. "For studying, language is not a problem. It is not necessary for a person to learn the local language if all of his courses are in English. But when it comes to daily life routines, it becomes a big problem for an outsider since most of the Europeans prefer to use their native language even if they know English".
Some of the commonly used slangs in French mentioned by Pierce are as follows.
Comment allez-vous? - How are you?
Ca va - Fine.
Dácc - Ok.
Ya aussi d'la bombe - Awesome.
Cést epatant! - That's great!
After interviewing both the Professors, we conclude that even though English is the Universal language, the usage of this language differs from country to country. The written forms of communication across the world are more or less similar and when it comes to the oral communication, countries prefer to use their local language rather than English. Further, the technological development in each country is unique and steady in its own ways and is limited based on the financial position of that country. Hence from the above interviews, we realize why English is considered as the universal language, though there may be problems faced by countries in learning and understanding the language.