On the non-use of English in a multinational company

Sonja Barfod

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportBidrag til bog/antologiForskningpeer review


In a multinational company in Denmark, Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish employees prefer to communicate in inter-Scandinavian (producing one Scandinavian language, receiving another) in informal workplace settings. They prefer this form of communication to using English, the company's declared corporate language, which is otherwise consistently used as their "meeting language" (even when only Scandinavians are present). Based on video recordings, this article examines how Scandinavians communicate in informal workplace settings. It is argued that the employed adaptation strategies are characterized by a high degree of variability, and that Scandinavians seem to adapt to each other's languages to a larger degree than what previous research claims to have found, although adaptation is mainly performed within speaker's base language. It is furthermore argued that the possibility of Scandinavian intercomprehension is a resource in the workplace, and that the competence to interact in inter-Scandinavian appears to be an invisible skill to the employees themselves.

TitelEnglish in Business and Commerce : Interactions and Policies: English in Europe Volume 5
RedaktørerJiri Nekvapil, Tamah Sherman
Antal sider22
ForlagMouton de Gruyter
ISBN (Trykt)9781501506833
StatusUdgivet - 2018
NavnLanguage and Social Life

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