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Playing the corporate language game

An investigation of the genres and discourse strategies in English used by Dutch writers working in multinational corporations

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Catherine Nickerson

An increasing number of business people are regularly required to communicate effectively and efficiently in a language that is not their own. The tasks that international business writers carry out, have therefore become a recent focus of attention for communication researchers and language practitioners, particularly within multinational corporations where the majority of the workforce needs to communicate both in English and the local language. Playing the Corporate Language Game explores the relationship between context and text and presents a comprehensive framework for the investigation of the communication practices that are currently in use in international business. It includes an extensive survey of multinational corporations in the Netherlands, and it goes on to present a detailed analysis of the genres and discourse strategies that could be identified in a large corpus of authentic documents written by Dutch and British writers, consisting of letters, reports and e-mail messages. There is detailed discussion throughout, of those aspects of national and corporate culture that impact the evolution and linguistic realisation of business genres in multinational, multilingual settings. This volume will be of interest to students and researchers of applied linguistics and business communication, and all those concerned with Language for Specific Purposes, and the interface between local languages and International Business English.