AbstractsBusiness Management & Administration

The negative consequences of the use of English as a lingua franca in a Dutch business environment

by J. van Dun

Institution: Universiteit Utrecht
Year: 2009
Keywords: Letteren; English, lingua franca, Dutch, business environment
Record ID: 1251239
Full text PDF: http://dspace.library.uu.nl:8080/handle/1874/35555


This thesis looks at the negative consequences of the use of English as a lingua franca in a Dutch busines environment. In order to do so, first the history of the rise of the English language as a lingua franca is explained. In addition, the concept of intercultural communication is explained as well becuase it is intrinsically linked with the notion of lingua franca speech. When using a lingua franca (in any environment), there are people with another mother tongue. It can be expected, that this has a negative consequence regarding mutual understanding as a result of communication failure. In order to research this notion, several ethnographic interviews have been held with Dutch professionals from three large organisations where English is the lingua franca. The results of the interviews show that besides the obvious benefits of using English as a lingua franca (such as the possibility for international trade and information exchange), there are negative consequences to the use of a foreign language at work, even though the subjects may not directly be aware of this themselves. It is not wrong to have Dutch professionals use English on a daily basis but it is wrong to presume that everyone is proficient enough to use English as a lingua franca in a business environment. The complete interviews are added in the attachment.