non-native English speakers

Dealing with non-English speaking clients

by Paul Strikwerda in Articles, Career, International, Internet, Journalism & Media 18 Comments

Thanks to the internet, any business is now a global business. Getting through to non-native English speakers can be a serious challenge. But just because your client knows a few English words, doesn’t mean he understands everything you’re saying. Here’s how not to get lost in translation.

“I have a good one,” I said to my friend from France.

“Why do gun-carrying Americans usually wear short-sleeved shirts?”

“No idea,” he answered. “You tell me.”

“Because they believe in the right to bear arms.”

Silence…

“Sorry, but I don’t get it,” said Philippe. “Explain.”

“Well,” I said, “I can try, but I don’t think it would make the Second Amendment any funnier.”

“Oh, was it supposed to be funny?”

“Well, Philippe, some people think that puns are bad by definition.”

“What’s a pun?” Philippe wanted to know.

Have you ever had a conversation like that? All along you…

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Making Money In Your PJs cover