But on this absurd morning, your office has been metamorphosed. We're not talking a brand new coffee machine and some new energy-saving LEDs – we're talking about a complete relinquishment of the language that you, your coworkers, and even your entire nation speak, defeated by a foreign language that you heard while travelling, or in movies set in faraway lands…from the cafeteria menus to the building directory.
Most days at the office are like Groundhog Day – up the lift, through the doors, a nod of the head and continue to your work station. But on this absurd morning, your office has been metamorphosed. We’re not talking a brand new coffee machine and some new energy-saving LEDs – we’re talking about a complete relinquishment of the language that you, your coworkers, and even your entire nation speak, defeated by a foreign language that you heard while traveling, or in movies set in faraway lands…from the cafeteria menus to the building directory.
This exact scenario took place at the Tokyo-headquartered, Japanese web commerce powerhouse Rakuten, when in 2010 its CEO Hiroshi Mikitani declared that effective immediately, in order to compete on the global stage, the company and its more than 7,000 employees would conduct all business in English.
The English mandate was said to be a stressful and distressing experience for most of the company’s employees, and particularly its executive. Personnel who lacked English skills – or even just confidence in their English skills – were suddenly forced to read, write and speak English on a daily basis with local and international business partners, as well as inside the office.
However, within two years, Rakuten’s staff were able to communicate in “Comprehendible, if not perfect”, English and 79% of documents, meetings and internal communications were being conducted in English. And since 2012, Rakuten employees are required to use English in all internal presentations, documents and memos. as well as internal meetings, training sessions, and internal company emails.
Rakuten is far from alone in this radical decision. Other enterprises across the globe ranging from Airbus, Daimler-Chrysler, Fast Retailing, Nokia, Renault, Samsung, SAP,Technicolor, Microsoft in Beijing to Lufthansa, are seeing English-language communications as the key to advancing their brands.
Why would an enterprise that was founded and is headquartered in a highly-populous and economically-strong non-English speaking country, and staffed almost exclusively by locals, ever adopt such a policy? The fact remains that globalization is today’s Rome and globalization speaks English. At both the macro and micro levels, corresponding in English has become a business basic.
There are so many situations that require English fluency, it’s impossible to name them all. Corresponding with colleagues and partners in other countries to absorbing international staff – there are an infinite number of business occurrences that simply necessitate the use of English, no matter where a company’s headquarters might be located. More and more companies are beginning to understand that nothing less than fluent English is acceptable in today’s fast-paced, global economy.
Rephraser.ai was founded as a solution for non-native speakers at all levels to be able to communicate confidently and effectively no matter how comfortable they are with their written English. With the click of a button, Rephraser.ai makes communicating in English easier than ever, instantly.
By Ronit Zimmer, first published on June 14, 2016 on www.mailfixer.com