Geneviève Tréguer-Felten, Les Cahiers de l’APLIUT, XXVIII (2009), p. 14-26.
Assessing the effect of lingua franca on intercultural business communication. In a globalized world where e-mails have replaced traditional communication, multinationals face a linguistic problem which, although it is not new, has taken on a new dimension. In order to face the challenges of corporate communication (addressing an ever-growing and linguistically diverse audience) and operational communication (enabling employees around the world to work together), multinationals generally choose a common language: English as a lingua franca (ELF). Based on examples of professional e-mails exchanged between individuals speaking different mother-tongues, this article offers an assessment of the effects of such practice on intercultural communication. It shows that misunderstandings generally stem from the different “worlds” in which the situations take their meanings rather than from mere linguistic clumsiness, leading to the conclusion that ELF can be considered as helping “common’action” (i.e. communication for action), while hindering or obstructing “common’understanding” (i.e. deeper understanding between the individuals).
You can also be interested in reading :
Louhiala-Salminen, L. & M. Charles. 2006. « English as the Lingua franca of International Business Communication: Whose English? What English? ». Intercultural and International Business Communication. Bern : Peter Lang, 27-54.