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How to negotiate in English

How to negotiate in English


My name is Gregor and I am originally from Russia. I recently switched jobs and am now a buyer in the purchasing department of a much larger corporation. One of the skills that landed me this new job was my ability to negotiate in English. At this point in my career, handling business negotiations in English is a routine part of the job, but fresh out of university I struggled immensely. Negotiations are a key part of business, and conducting them in a foreign language can put you under a lot of stress. With my tips on how to negotiate in English, your next business negotiation will see an improvement in your skills - and the one after that as well!

One of the first parts of just about every business negotiation is small talk. Asking about your clients plans while in town or making pleasant comments about a client's offices can help set a relaxed tone before the actual negotiations begin. Once the small talk is over, a very useful phrase to segue into the next phase is "let's move on to business."

At this point you'll want to know a few key business words. If you are discussing the specific details of your deal or contract, you are talking about the "terms". The people or companies who enter into the contractual agreement are referred to as the "parties".

When it comes time to negotiate, one side makes an offer and the other responds. Simple wording such as "our offer is 3 million" or "we were thinking 3 million" is often the best approach, particularly if you are still getting a grasp on negotiating in English. If responding, typical phrases include "that is less/more than we were expecting" or "it's a good place to start". If you are not interested in the offer at all, then you can say that it is "out of the question."

You won't always agree to the terms right away, so sometimes you'll need to make suggestions for improvement. "Are you willing to consider" or "what if we alter our plans to include…" are good starting points.

Last but not least, remember to make eye contact and to stay relaxed as well as professional. Also bear in mind that the vocabulary you use for negotiations will grow over time. Simply focus on getting the best deal for all parties involved and the vocabulary will come on its own as you confidently execute business negotiations.

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How to learn a foreign body language

How to learn a foreign body language

My name is Mirabel and I work for an agricultural company based in South America. I knew my English was good when I started the job, so I expected my first big meeting, which happened to be in Turkey, to be a big success. I was very wrong. The problem was that I neglected the importance of body language.

I remember I kept nodding my head in consent, thinking that the meeting was going well, that I understood what the client wanted from us. Unfortunately later I learned that nodding your head means the exact opposite in Turkey: by nodding my head I was telling them "no". I was extremely embarrassed when I was told this. From that point on, I found myself closed off in meetings, crossing my arms and keeping a blank face; I was just too afraid to do something insensitive. This was the wrong approach, and I'd like to share a few tips I've learned about unspoken communication.

Did you know that 55% of what we say is expressed through body language? And I don't mean ordering levaquin online using your tongue to pronounce words, either. I'm talking about gestures, facial expressions, etc. While cultural tips are really the only thing to prevent a situation like mine in Turkey, there are still several strategies that work well in just about every language:

  • Your facial expression should match your words.

If you are sharing a happy thought, have a happy facial expression. The same is true if you are sharing sad news.

  • Don't be afraid to talk with your hands.

They can underscore what your mouth is saying and help you convey your message.

  • Don't close off your body by crossing your arms and legs.

Such a posture can give the wrong impression, and communication is about openness!

  • Shake hands.

This is an important one. Statistically, the people whose hands you shake are two times more likely to remember you than those whose hands you don't shake. Remember that the next time you go into a business meeting!

  • Research cultural greetings.

Though a handshake is known around the world, different cultures have different greetings. You can score big if you do your research in advance.

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How to boost your language learning

My Name is Rodolfo and I have been a sales and marketing manager at an international company for the last five years. At this point in my life I have no problems speaking and writing in English with our clients, but years ago it was a struggle that I thought I would never surmount.

language learning

One day I met a woman from Canada named Bess who spoke six languages – and all of them fluently! I was impressed and daunted, but I overcame my fears and asked her in my broken English how she had accomplished such a feat. She smiled and said, "by doing what you're doing right now. I got out there and spoke each language." We went for coffee - which, admittedly, had been one of the reasons I approached her in the first place - and she gave me a few tips on how to learn English that really work.

Jump in feet first

My first problem was that I was afraid to use my language skills outside of my language course. I didn't think I had a high enough level of English to use in my daily life. But Bess told me to dive in! By leaving my comfort zone, my skills improved significantly because I actually put them to use. It was the only way I could improve them.

Don't be afraid to make mistakes

I now realise that, like any new skill, if you are learning a language then of course you are going to make mistakes at first! If you don't make mistakes you will never learn what they are and will never be able to speak with confidence.

Learn vocabulary that is relevant

Bess suggested I concentrated on marketing vocabulary so I can now express my ideas and opinions clearly and precisely. But it hasn't stop there. I enjoy cooking, so I focused on words relevant to the culinary arts. Before long it was easy to talk about what was going on in the kitchen. I find the topic to be a great conversation starter - both for personal and professional life.

Watch movies without subtitles

Subtitles can be a big help, but forcing myself to really listen to the dialogue vastly improved my ability to understand and use vocabulary.

Sing out loud

I have a horrible voice. But singing along with my favourite songs helped me gain a better grasp of English pronunciation. With no one around to listen, who cares if my pitch is bad!


10 tips to help you learn Chinese better


Learning a foreign language is a difficult task, particularly when the foreign language is as different from one’s own tongue as hieroglyphics is from modern English! But, there are some tips to make learning Chinese easier & quicker.

1. Select which language you want to start with. Many people may not know it at first but the ‘Chinese language’ refers to both Mandarin as well as Cantonese. Mandarin is easier to learn as it is more structured.

2. Begin with pronunciation. Some students may try and learn the script first. But, speaking the language is the easiest way to learn Chinese

3. Learn to recognize tones because Chinese is a tonal language. One of the important strategies for learning Chinese is to sensitize your ears to tones. Choose an audio-based program to learn proper tones in Chinese. Many students attempt to use the Pinyin straight away. The Chinese Pinyin has the phonetic pronunciation of all Chinese characters. However, the Pinyin is for advanced users because it is somewhat complicated.

4. Practice and memorize simple phrases. Trying to learn a language word by word is painstaking. Instead, learn phrases. When you learn phrases, language becomes easier to learn and you will also have a sense of accomplishment. Practice with a partner, if you can.

learn chinese with friends

5. Revisit new words you have learnt from time to time. You can download some APP of learning Chinese. Use your spare time to learn Chinese words and phrases.

6. Expose yourself to it as much as you can. The more you expose yourself to a language, the more you will soak it up, naturally and quickly. If you are living in a place like Beijing, try and visit local markets and restaurants by yourself. Read newspapers in the Chinese language and Listen to Chinese podcast. Do not be self-conscious. It’s alright to make mistakes – and learn from these mistakes.

7. If you want to learn Chinese fast, find a native speaker to assist you. Not only will they teach you the right tones and pronunciation, they will also force you to practice your sketchy language on them. You can make Chinese friends or have a Chinese boyfriend/girlfriend, someone to talk to everyday in Chinese.

8. Take good advantage of free online Chinese Learning Resources.

9. Take the HSK test every year. This would force you to study Chinese. You can also see your progress of Chinese learning.

10. Enroll in a language course is the best. In the language school, you will study Chinese language by the professional method. This would help you to study Chinese much easier. If you have no chance to attend a Chinese course, you can also study by yourself diligent. Berlitz Australia offers 1-to-1 training classes that flexible, affordable and customizable to your needs. Please call us at 1300 118 881 to book a free trial class.



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