BELF in the Catalan International Business Context
Orrit Lupiáñez, Sheila
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Few people would question that English has become the de facto main international language of communication in virtually all fields of human activity in today’s increasingly connected world, and furthermore, that it will continue to occupy this status into the near, foreseeable future. More
people than ever collaborate or compete in real time with more other people, on more different kinds of work and from different corners of the planet. As a result, a common shared language is required, and English appears to take this role. This paper investigates the implications of the appliance of English, and particularly what has been labelled Business English as a Lingua Franca (BELF) within the Catalan business environment. The research is an empirical, data-based case study of 27 Catalan and Spanish workers who use English as their international language to conduct business. It attempts to shed some light on the significance of the appliance of BELF on Catalan international business while considering the professionals’ use of English and their feelings towards the language. Results have shown that Catalan international companies use English as their international language, but the English they use is not exactly the variety of English that BELF claims for.