The first time you sit in a meeting
at a new job, you might get lost in the sea of new terminology the experienced
people around you are using. The task of learning business vocabulary can be
daunting, especially if at first you hear many words that you don’t understand.
You might hear words you thought you knew, but used in a different way.
probably also hear many terms you’ve never heard before, specific to your
industry. Getting a good grasp on business English will help you before you
start a new job. You can also jumpstart a promising career in the business
industry if you have the verbal advantage over other employees who haven’t put
the time in to study these words.
Like all vocabulary improvement
study, learning business English is not merely learning about the various
jargons (jargon means terminology specific to a field or group of people)
used in your industry or any other. Jargon is just one part of business English,
and knowing a word’s definition is not enough. You also need to learn how the
terms are used correctly in context so you can easily incorporate them in your
conversations or written presentations.
Learning more about jargon is the first step to being a successful participant in your business, no matter the
industry. It has been proven time and again that people often fail to progress
in the business industry because they do not fully understand certain necessary
Tips To Learn Jargon And
Business vocabulary is largely made
up of jargon, the words each type of business uses to describe what it does, the
items the work uses, the roles of the people involved, and the products it
creates. You should start learning the jargon of your particular industry as
soon as possible to build vocabulary you’ll need later.
1. Know the common jargon.
Learn the basics first. There’s a
core set of terms that is common across most industries that you’ll need to know
no matter where you work. For example, because all businesses need to track
where their money goes, so even if you’re not in the accounting department,
you’ll want to know terms like P/E ratio and general ledger and
capital expenditure. Most of these terms remain in use for many years, so
don’t worry that you’re wasting time on words you’ll never come across. Many of
these terms and words can be found in
reference books on
business vocabulary, either at the public library or on line. Familiarize
yourself with at least 10 words a day.
The basics are the foundation of
your business career, but you also need to learn the terms specific to your job
and industry. The best way to do this is to build on the basic terms that you
know, and research the jargon used in your field. Get example of the terminology
and try using them if you can. Learning and application go together, and more
often than not, the terms will stay in your memory better if you apply them in
real life. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes at first - it’s all part of the
2. Read the business section of
Reading is power. You can pick up a
lot of words through reading alone. The best part about this process is that
most articles focus on one topic, so you can get a good cross-section of the
vocabulary and really
dig deeper into the
An advantage to using newspapers as
your reference is that you can jot down new words as they are added to the
jargon. Business vocabulary is a lot like fashion. Something new is introduced
every week in one industry or another, and you have to be on the lookout for the
current trends in business. Trends come and go, so you’ll find some words being
phased out over time. To stay current, keep track of the latest terminology by
reading the business section of local and national newspapers.
3. Subscribe to business
Business magazines are often more
useful than newspapers, because they are written for people in the industry, not
the general public, and so will use more jargon (and use it correctly). The
publications might also feature stories of successful people in the industry,
giving you hints on how you can better your own career prospects.
4. Read business blogs.
Your business vocabulary can be
enhanced further with the help of business blogs. More and more people are going
on the internet to share their expertise in a variety of fields. You can find
lots of business blogs that offer vital information that can help
vocabulary as well as your knowledge of the latest trends. Sign up for the
blog’s news feed to get current reports and articles, which will allow you to
keep track of the blogs and stay updated.
You might also want to join a
community of business-oriented people, such as an on-line discussion group or
local city club or lunch meeting. The atmosphere in these gatherings is more
relaxed so you can ask questions about terms you don’t understand.