Transfer project T3: OPTIMISINg texts in multilingual business communication
Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Juliane House
Research Assistant : Dr. Claudia Böttger
Student Assistants: Roman Stachowicz, Ksenija Vozmiller
- Felizitas Peters (Managing Director), HGB Geschäftsberichte GmbH & Co. KG, Hamburg
- Jim Blake (Managing Director), World2World GmbH, Hamburg
- John Purdy (Managing Director), World2World GmbH, Hamburg
- Eike Katharina von Kleist (Translator), Latham & Watkins LLP, Hamburg
- Christina Blake, Communications across cultures, Hamburg
- Prof. Dr. Jürgen Bolten, Interkulturelle Wirtschaftskommunikation, Jena, Germany
- Dr. Christina Janik, School of Management, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, UK
- Prof. Dr. Christopher Schmidt, Åbo Akademi, Turku, Finland
- Prof. Dr. Jan Engberg, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus, Denmark
In a globalised market, communication between companies and their customers, business partners, shareholders, and employees is crucial for establishing a company’s competitive edge. Therefore the way in which readers of business texts are addressed assumes a central role. The literature both on contrastive linguistics as well as on business communication shows Anglophone text conventions to be more reader-oriented than German text conventions.
ObjectivesThe transfer project sets out to answer the growing need for a more reader-friendly addressal in German business texts of internationally operating companies. In co-operation with its non-university transfer partners, HGB Geschäftsberichte and World2World, the project will develop, implement, and evaluate a consultancy and training module to optimise German business texts. Consisting of workshops, training seminars and lectures, the module will be offered to employees in Corporate Communication, Investor Relations and Public Relations as well as editors and translators of business texts. Based on the findings of the evaluation of the module, a handbook to optimise business writing will be devised.
MethodTo analyse business texts, the Text and Translation Assessment Model developed by House (1977, 1997) will be tested and modified. Steeped in systemic functional linguistics, the foundation of the module are findings of the SFB project K4 “Verdecktes Übersetzen / Covert Translation”. The findings document linguistic changes in global business communication triggered through contact with the dominant lingua franca English. The effectiveness of the module is assessed in in-depth interviews and in pre- and post-tests.
ScheduleThe project consists of three phases. In the first phase the module was designed. In the current phase it is being implemented and evaluated, and in the third phase a handbook will be developed on the basis of the evaluation of the moduleBöttger, C. 2007:.
Recent book publicationLost in Translation? An Analysis of the Role of English as the 'Lingua Franca' of Multilingual BusinessCommunication. Hamburg: Kovač.
ConferencesInterdisciplinary summit "European Cultures in Annual Reports" 2008
Relevant links of our partners
- The World of Annual Reports at HGB Summer Lounge 2008
- Post-Congress Seminar on the annual report - EUCO 2008
- Interculture: Training, Further Education, E-Learning (German)