For some time now, sales departments no longer make calls nor do supervisors make evaluations. Now they make calls and give feedback. The use of Anglicisms has spread like wildfire in the workplace. There are those who claim that They are used for simple posture or for seeming ‘cool’, but there are also positions that suggest that this phenomenon responds to efficiency when transmitting a concept or theory in a single word.
Strictly speaking, every English term used in offices has a Spanish equivalent that fits its original meaningso the use of these Anglicisms is not always linguistically justified and, in fact, the RAE recommends avoiding their use whenever possible. However, sometimes the specific training of each subject and the habit of using them prevails in communication in the company.
These Anglicisms already have become global business jargonso that when someone from the marketing, sales or development department of a company speaks with a counterpart from any other country, communication finds common spaces that are understandable in specific areas around the world.
Who uses Anglicisms and why?
The language platform Preply has made a study on the use and abuse of anglicisms in the office. 1,018 office employees from different sectors and departments have been questioned to obtain a representative sample. This study reveals the profile of those who use Anglicisms the most at work and what their reasons are.
According to the study data, 52% of Spaniards use between six and ten Anglicisms a day. Only 2% say they do not use any during their work day. Young people between 16 and 24 years old are the ones who most They use Anglicisms as a resource to communicate in the work environment with an average of 14 terms per day. Their number progressively reduces as age increases up to 9 Anglicisms per day for those over 55 years of age.
Could this increase in the use of Anglicisms represent a generational barrier among employees? According to Mauro A. Fuentes, director of Digital Communication Transformation at CaixaBank, this increase in use among younger people is due to the training they have received: “There are certain professions in which English is a main part of the training, bibliography and fundamental works are in that language and, above all, the best online information is usually in English. The most senior profile is likely to have not studied in English and that affects them. But if they are active professionals, they will perfectly understand the Anglicisms used by their younger colleagues. Perhaps the cultural vision of older people makes them more reticent about the mixed use of the term. But I don’t think there is a clear generation gap either.”
Language as common territory between departments
The Preply study also reveals that the use of these Anglicisms is also closely linked to the business sector. The more global the influence of the sector is, the greater percentage of Anglicisms are used. Employees in the telecommunications and technology sector use an average of 15 anglicisms a day; They are followed by other sectors such as leisure and commerce with 13 and sales and marketing with 12 terms per day.
This sectoral use could even create a linguistic barrier between departments of the same company by using specific terms in English in some departments that could confuse their colleagues when sharing information between departments.
Mario Sorribas Fierro, professor in the marketing area at OBS Business School, believes that the use of specific anglicisms in each sector is linked to the need to know the meaning of that term, so the language of that word is not as important as meaning. “In principle, the use of certain terms can create a certain friction in communication between departments, but it is part of the communication process. A lot happens, for example, in the field of innovation. When a company presents a new product or service, it must explain it to its customers and will surely use new concepts that the customer does not know. After proper explanation, the client will already know those terms. The same thing happens in communication between departments.”
Professor Sorribas Fierro adds that the use of those Anglicisms that are so specific to each sector, and that all members of that department or profession know, makes communication more effective and direct. He insists that the key is in the common consensus of using a certain word, regardless of the language in which they are usually expressed.
The experts consulted agree without hesitation that efficiency in the transmission of the message is the main reason why this type of resources are used. And along the same lines, the study indicates that the medium through which that message is transmitted is also relevant to adapting the language used.
For example, email is the channel in which the most Anglicisms are used with 63% per day, while, in the company’s presentations and reports, which can be read by people not familiar with these technical terms, the percentage drops to 45%.
Sylvia Johnson, language expert and Director of Methodology at Preply, believes that The communication channel and the audience are the keys to determining the level of Anglicisms used.. “Knowing your audience is crucial in communication because it allows you to adapt the message to increase the likelihood that it will be well received and understood regardless of the channel. English acronyms and anglicisms are often used in written communication, such as chat or email. A good The rule to follow is to always adapt the language to the ‘lowest common denominator’. That is, simplify communication to a level that guarantees its understanding by the largest and least informed segment of the audience. If this means avoiding anglicisms, do it.”
Communication effectiveness defines language
The most purists of the language They do not welcome the use of Anglicisms in a language as rich in vocabulary and nuances as Spanish. However, the communication experts we have consulted agree that language, both in personal and work use, should be the tool that allows dynamic and efficient communication.
Sylvia Johnson believes that “in the workplace, Anglicisms that have introduced new concepts or ways of working are so widespread that they would sound strange and out of place if one tried to find a translation into Spanish. For example, ‘do an onboarding’. When making value judgments about the chosen lexicon, I suggest that we accept the dynamic nature of language as it adapts to the needs of its speakers.
“Although the Spanish language is very rich. The issue is that they are used correctly and that they are pronounced well. There are certain terms like ‘Insight’, which are very useful and do not have a literal translation into Spanish. Using them correctly will help us convey our message and our work better,” says Mauro Fuentes.
“The guiding principle of communication is to capture the interest of the interlocutor to transmit a message. Anglicisms, as elements of innovation, must overcome their own Rogers curve. If those words manage to convey the message efficiently, they will be maintained. If not, they will disappear, replaced by others that do fulfill that purpose,” says Mario Sorribas.
The Spanish language is alive and constantly changingor so, as Professor Sorribas points out, if these Anglicisms are maintained, they will probably become neologisms accepted by the RAE. We saw it with tweeting or clicking, terms of English origin already accepted by the Royal Academy, or wasapear and googling, which are in the process of becoming official.
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