English is the language of international communication these days and, lucky you!, you’ve been speaking English your whole life. Being out there in the world is easy, right? Everyone speaks your language!
Well, although English is the lingua franca used across cultures, people who speak English as a language they’ve consciously learned use it differently and often find native speakers really difficult to understand. The room may be full of people from all over the world speaking English (with varying levels of ability), but the native speaker can be the worst communicator there.
Why? There are many factors, but essentially many native English speakers without much experience in international interaction just aren’t aware that it’s an issue.
Yet English is so widespread that the language spoken in each English-speaking country has become a kind of regional dialect, with its own codes and references that make sense to people from there, but not always to outsiders.
There’s huge diversity in native Englishes alone: to name a tiny few, there are the well-known UK/US differences, but also Canadian, Irish, Australian, New Zealand, South African… And don’t forget Indian, Jamaican, Nigerian, Zambian…
And that’s even before you get to the people who’ve worked hard to learn it as a second language.
To be understood and communicate well across this range of cultures, you will need to adapt your language to your audience. I can work with you to help you be more aware of what you say, how you say it, and how you interact. Get in touch!