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Volkswagen bosses are told to speak English after company switches its official language

German? Nein! Volkswagen bosses are told to speak English after company switches its official language to make itself more welcoming

Bosses say the move is designed to improve recruitment as some prospective employees are put off by the need to understand their home nation’s language.

'This will improve access to the top management level for international top performers and cooperation among top managers.'

'As a globally positioned group, we need the best people in the world.'

The policy change means English will be the official language used by top managers for documents, meetings and presentations.

This is a excerpt; read more: www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4034978/German-Nein-Volkswagen-bosses-told-speak-English-company-switches-official-language-make-welcoming.html#ixzz4StjhOSYy

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Do your home assignment well, and I'll become a VW boss!
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Comments

  • HermineHermine Moderator Posts: 5,804 mod
    It makes me shiver about the words.... we need the best people in the world.

    What is the precondition to get admitted in the row: clever, smart, good looking, best education, flexible, always ready for a change, ....

  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 184 ✭✭
    > @Hermine said:
    > It makes me shiver about the words.... we need the best people in the world.
    >
    > What is the precondition to get admitted in the row: clever, smart, good looking, best education, flexible, always ready for a change, ....

    These words are about the VW's top management. It's hardly a row, it must be pretty few people. I think the required qualities include all you've mentioned and many more: leadership, courage...
  • YellowtailYellowtail Posts: 313 ✭✭✭
    Some comments on the article is interesting to me. They say, German people are pretty good at English so they are not bothered. It's very different from my country, where changing official language into English is always controvercial.
  • amatsuscribbleramatsuscribbler Teacher Posts: 1,991 mod
    I think it's sad. I would hate to see everyone speaking only English.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 184 ✭✭
    > @amatsuscribbler said:
    > I think it's sad. I would hate to see everyone speaking only English.

    I would hate it too, but if everyone were bilingual, I wouldn't object. Having learned English to a certain level - I can read almost anything without consulting a dictionary, I've doubled my opportunities to get new information as well as to understand other people. Moreover, it's like getting a mirror to look at yourself, your culture and language from the outside.
  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 23,498 mod
    The article doesn't say where their staff are being expected to use English, though I assume they are talking about their plants in Germany. I used to work for a big German Swiss company and in their Paris office, they insisted that everyone had to speak English. This was because the Swiss managers usually didn't speak French, but you can imagine how the French staff were not at all impressed by this.

  • amatsuscribbleramatsuscribbler Teacher Posts: 1,991 mod
    The trouble is that in England, and probably America, learning a second language would become even harder and more difficult to choose which one!
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 184 ✭✭
    > @amatsuscribbler said:
    > The trouble is that in England, and probably America, learning a second language would become even harder and more difficult to choose which one!

    Really? I think the English culture has had many interconnections with the French one, so, probably, the English tend to choose French.
  • amatsuscribbleramatsuscribbler Teacher Posts: 1,991 mod
    edited December 2016
    I think most secondary schools offer French, German and Spanish now. But of course Chinese is the most commonly spoken language! A few schools are now offering this.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10878445/Mandarin-on-the-school-curriculum-under-languages-shake-up.html
  • LynneLynne Your Teacher HomePosts: 8,490 mod
    German people are pretty good at English.


    Some are, but they aren't as good as the Dutch. They will insist on dubbing films and TV shows.
  • UlysUlys Posts: 5
    In France, this kind of language policy would have brought more controversies. The only problem is if they hire international staff that would avoid learning German because English would be more convenient.
  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 23,498 mod
    @Practical_Severard French or German tend to be the most common choices at school. In theory everyone is supposed to learn a second language at school but most students only pay lip service to this and usually forget everything they ever learned as soon as it's no longer compulsory.
  • josemari_88josemari_88 Posts: 3
    It's a trend that's really widespread in several levels of the Spanish society (school and high school education, business), where English language is the prevailing language for they all fields.
    The case of Volkswagen's just a new example of the future. One step more.
  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 23,498 mod
    I think you're right @josemari_88. It's been happening for some years in some businesses, especially finance.
  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 23,498 mod
    This article about Denglish' puts it into perspective how at least in Germany it can be possible to speak English in the workplace @Ulys.

    http://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/culture/what_is_denglisch_and_why_is_it_so_catchy_1_4846350
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 184 ✭✭
    edited January 16
    > @Ulys said:
    > In France, this kind of language policy would have brought more controversies.

    Oh yes, I know that the French care for their language very much, there's even a government agency to invent French-rooted equivalent for foreign words like "computer" or "software". I think though, that in an international company where employees are come from different countries, knowing English is a must - at least at a higher level or in sales. The USA's economical hegemony dictates this. The French language may have played this role previously.

    > @mheredge said:
    > French or German tend to be the most common choices at school. In theory everyone is supposed to learn a second language at school but most students only pay lip service to this and usually forget everything they ever learned as soon as it's no longer compulsory.
    As for the schools - the same is here. Until the schoolchildren have pushy parents - in this case they attend private language lessons :)
    People need a really strong motivation to learn a foreign language, because it's always a great challenge. If they need it, for example, to enter a university, or to get a job they'll succeed. Otherwise, most people quit, sooner or later.
  • YellowtailYellowtail Posts: 313 ✭✭✭
    I wonder how people from English spoken countries get motivated to learn foreign languages. And how they choose the second language.
  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 23,498 mod
    Most don't both @Yellowtail (more fool them) but I suppose as most of the rest of the world is so busy trying to learn English - even the French - there's some justification for their laziness.
  • YellowtailYellowtail Posts: 313 ✭✭✭
    @mheredge
    I see. I'm sure how desperately the people learn foreign languages depends on how much the employment situation requirs it there. Some people who speak a minority native language often learn multiple foreign languages. "How many languages can you speak?" is a frequently asked question for them. But I think it makes no sense for most native English speakers.
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