International office calls for understanding of different communication styles.
We all know and have plenty of examples around to prove that what people say and what they really mean may differ, and do not exactly depend on their national characteristics, but also on individual features and on business they are involved in.
Nevertheless, common national features do exist, and in case with our British colleagues we’d rather keep in mind that they tend to put diplomacy before directness thus trying to be polite and soften what they say with so-called «coded» language and considering those who speak in a more or less direct or literal way quite abrupt and even rude in their approach.
Below are some phrases that we generally interpret differently:
|What the British say||What we understand||What they might mean|
|I hear what you say||He/she accepts my point of view||I disagree and do not what to discuss it further|
|That’s not bad||That’s poor||That’s good|
|Quite good||Quite good||A bit disappointing|
|I almost agree||He/she’s not far from agreement||I don’t agree at all|
|Could we consider some other options?||They haven’t decided yet||I don’t like your idea|
|And, by the way…||That is not very important||The most important thing I want to say is …|
|I would suggest…||Think about the idea, but do what you like||Do it / be prepared to justify it|
|That’s certainly one way of looking at it||There may be other ideas||That’s certainly the wrong way of looking at it|
|Each to their own||All ideas are good||You’re wrong, but never mind|
|That’s interesting||They are impressed||That’s non-sense|
|That’s brave||They think I have courage||You’re insane|
One New Idiom TO SPEAK YOUR MIND
If you speak your mind you say what exactly you think about a subject regardless of whether others will agree with you or not.
Practice now! Translate the sentences:
1. В нашей семье все открыто говорят то, что думают.
2. Немногие хотят знать правду, поэтому прямолинейность их раздражает.
3. Сейчас не время для дипломатии, нужно принять решение, а для этого нужно знать, что ты действительно об этом думаешь.
4. Не спеши радоваться ее похвалам, она редко бывает откровенна, скорее всего, это просто вежливость.
A bit of British Humor
- «Do you have any grandchildren?» — «No, all my children are just ordinary».
- Last night a large quantity of sand, cement and gravel were stolen from a local builder’s yard.
A police spokesman said they are looking for some concrete evidence to help catch the thieves.
- Doctor: «So, tell me, what has brought you to this hospital?»
Patient: «An ambulance».
- A woman woke her husband one night and said: «There’s a burglar in the kitchen eating my home-made steak and kidney pie!»
«Oh dear» — said her husband. «Who shall I call, police or ambulance?»
Want to learn English? — Watch British TV Shows!
Watching TV shows is a great way to learn English. Firstly, you are exposed to a wide range of useful vocabulary and colloquial language. Secondly, you’ll hear a variety of accents depending on the show you choose. Finally, it’s great listening practise.
In addition, TV is a fantastic window into the culture of a country and all 10 of these shows will teach you something about British culture. We’ve tried to include shows that are fun, enjoyable and contemporary so that you are exposed to modern English.
- The Great British Bake Off — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PW-Fh…
- Black Mirror — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDiYG…
- Jamie Oliver (Jamie’s Super Food | Jamie Oliver 5 Ingredients) — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_2DB…
- The X Factor — https://www.youtube.com/user/TheXFact…
- Sherlock — https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkp_…
- Strictly Come Dancing — https://www.youtube.com/user/bbcstrictly
- Peep Show — https://www.youtube.com/user/Official…
- Downton Abbey — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FZdk…
- Planet Earth — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rv9hn…
- Made in Chelsea | The Only Way is Essex — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_seA4…