The Babbel Booklet: Business English in the DACH Region

Thea Bohn -unless-
Posted by THEA BOHN
Woman studying business english on her phone -unless-

English is the most important language in global business. But did you know that in 2013 only 2.1% of German employees considered themselves business fluent in English? With good Business English skills, companies around the world make themselves understood, but in many German-speaking companies, the lack of English skills still impedes communication.

Unsurprisingly, English is the most popular language among our customers, enough reason for Babbel for Business to lay out the advantages that come with learning Business English digitally, as well as how you can overcome potential challenges. 

Do you want to be understood in the world?

Many people don’t realize until well into their professional life that the English they learned at school isn’t quite enough. When you can’t find the right specialist vocabulary in meetings or presentations, it costs time. And it can also be distracting when you use pseudo-anglicisms and false friends, words that sound or look similar but mean something different. In many cases, what you mean is still understood, and it can even be humorous — but those brief moments of confusion can risk losing trust. For example, when German-speakers talk about Home Office, they almost never mean the British ministry, and in a meeting, chair often refers to the person leading the meeting, rather than a place to sit. It can become especially costly when a lack of skills leads to mistakes in international production or supply chains.

Polite ways of speaking and an awareness of different meanings and nuances in another language are also important on the job. Clumsy expressions can even ruin deals or at least damage a team’s cohesion and motivation. Good Business English isn’t only important for management — it’s important for any team that has international team members or is in contact with international customers.

Investing in English skills for professional life improves intercultural competence in negotiating, customer services, and presentations. That’s why the Babbel language learning app’s Business English portfolio includes not only specialized vocabulary for different sectors, it also trains listening comprehension and speaking skills for everyday work. With the digital learning solution from Babbel, you can implement a culture of life-long learning at a low cost.

How well does the DACH region speak Business English?

Learning English is a global trend that continues unabated — but for companies in German-speaking regions, is it still worth investing in Business English? In a worldwide comparison of English skills, the Netherlands comes in first place, followed mostly by Scandinavian countries, Austria (8th place), Germany (10th place), and Switzerland (19th place). In 2015 Austria already led the DACH countries, but came two places higher in the 2019 ranking, distinguishing themselves from Germany and Switzerland even more. Germany improved by just one place, and Switzerland came in 19th both years.

Frictionless communication is still crucial for companies in export-oriented DACH countries. In surveys, companies recognize that good English skills save time and resources but also open and sustain new markets. Companies can also use Business English to promote innovation and keep their appeal for international talent.

The Business English booklet 

Business English Booklet from Babbel for BusinessThe Business English booklet from Babbel for Business gathers the latest facts about the need for Business English in German-speaking companies. You’ll learn why Business English opens business opportunities, makes your company more secure in times of crisis and supports your digitalization strategy. The booklet illustrates how you can increase the ROI of your company with a low-cost yet effective training option. 

Our booklet provides not only facts about Business English in companies, but also numerous practical tips around how you can successfully introduce digital learning in your company, motivating the learners for the long term and promoting digital skills. With the online language courses from Babbel, you can create a company culture where English is actively used so that your teams and external contacts quickly benefit from improved communication. With our customer case study from Conrad Electronic SE, we also illustrate how Babbel is oriented toward important requirements for language learning in companies: flexibility, learning success, and cost savings.

Find out how Babbel works for you

At Babbel, we’re convinced: Digital language learning is the training method that’s easiest to implement for everyone because it builds on the learners’ everyday work and skill level and is available anytime, anywhere. With a relatively small investment, you can secure long-term gains for your company. 

The Business English portfolio is the core of Babbel for Business. It offers structured learning content for developing practical, cross-sector skills. That includes vocabulary training for specific professional fields with specialized terms and communication guidelines. Babbel currently offers content for 12 fields and provides practical language skills for customer interaction, team meetings, and negotiations.

Business Englisch BookletFind out in our booklet why Business English is relevant for companies in the DACH region and how you can optimally support your employees on the way to better English.
Download our Business English booklet for free.



Sr. Content Marketing Manager B2B

Raised bilingually, Thea is invested in intercultural communication. She sees language learning at the intersection of individual education and globalisation.

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