have a good level of technical English It may be the biggest differential in your career. Not only will you be able to function in any professional activity, but it will also open the doors to opportunities .
Get better salaries, specializations, promotions, professional growth and job offers abroad or in transnational companies; These are just some of the advantages of having a good technical vocabulary in English.
But what is the difference between technical English and everyday English? How can you learn it to boost your career? To answer all your questions, we bring you this guide with what you need to know to improve English for professionals.
What is Technical English?
By analyzing your professional vocabulary you will find some expressions specific to your area. For example, if you work in computer science, you will speak in programming language; if it is budget, cash flow or earnings if it is finance. The same goes for English.
Both technical and business English are related to the use of specific terms of the word of a profession. Among the areas that require their own jargon are: engineering, health, pharmaceuticals, law, finance and banking, oil, technology and development, science, among others.
Knowing the technical vocabulary in English allows you to better understand topics related to work, meetings or reports. On the other hand, it also makes it easy to keep up with trends and developments.
The latter is due to the fact that many of these materials are published in English. Likewise, workshops or specialized studies of different professions.
Characteristics of technical English
In addition to using specific terminology according to the professional career, technical English is:
Brief and direct, since only necessary and pertinent information should be shared.
Objective and impersonal, because they speak of concrete situations.
Logical, to be able to weave a coherent and clear speech.
Structured, with a tendency to use passive and short sentences.
Technical English vs. English for everyday
If you're fluent in "standard" English, you've taken a first step. You are able to relate, while participating in company meetings or you can present a report, solve tasks, write emails for a foreign client.
Take an English Diagnostic to find out what specifically you and your colleagues need to do to improve your English. The evaluation consists of 2 sections:
Answer questions to identify your needs or those of your company.
Test your level of knowledge in grammar, listening comprehension and reading.
To learn technical English you need to have a general notion of the language. Because previously learned grammatical and syntactic structures are preserved, incorporating new terms and phrases for a greater context.
You can also review manuals, articles, reports and specialized studies, with a greater understanding of the subject.
Why should I study technical English and improve vocabulary?
It is increasingly necessary to learn technical English, as it is considered the "language of business". Talking about it for sure will add points to your profile. Therefore, knowing the technical vocabulary for business will be the advantage for your future.
Achieving a vocabulary in technical English, both orally and in writing, in the sector to which it belongs is key. Especially since it implies having an extensive knowledge of phrases and expressions that will allow you to function in your professional environment.
It is for the above that you should definitely try to acquire and deepen your skills in technical English. So that it allows you to interact more fluidly and naturally with clients, supervisors, international leaders in the field and more.
On the other hand, you will need to study technical English, because this varies according to the work carried out within the profession. Even if you have prior training, there are words that you will have to delve into.
An example of the above would be that, if you work in the health field, you would need to learn the translation of the diseases or medications you frequently deal with. The same would happen if he were dedicated to the IT industry (Technology Industry).
Mastering the appropriate terms in English will give you greater confidence when communicating. In addition, it will allow you to create clear and coherent sentences and, in turn, achieve good communication with the receiver.
How to improve technical English vocabulary?
To improve your knowledge you can follow the following tips:
You can strengthen your vocabulary by reading texts related to your specialty that are in the English language. These can be books, magazines, blogs or even articles.
This is one of the best ways to improve language learning on a daily basis.. In addition, it will allow you to practice while you are updated on the news of your specialty.
Another advantage of this tip is that you can improve your understanding of the language by acquiring new vocabulary and practicing your pronunciation.
To get the most out of reading you can write down the phrases or words that you have learned during the study session. This way you can begin to apply it in context when you write or speak.
Having the assistance of the bilingual dictionary will allow you to know the exact definition of words, as well as their pronunciation and examples of how they are used.
This resource should never be overlooked. Mainly because it will give you more clarity on how to use words. So you can safely use them. when having a business conversation.
Once you identify technical words that are difficult or rare, you can make a list, write down their meaning, and look for examples of how you could incorporate them into your work.
Co-workers and apprentices
During your learning process you can also rely on your colleagues at work or in English classes. With them they will be able to practice all the words learned in order to achieve a fluent conversation.
For this, it is possible to coordinate reading the same article, film, interview or any material in English that is related to your field of knowledge. The end will be a discussion of what has been seen, naturally incorporating technical words.
Types of technical English
technical english can be classified into several general areas and, from them, develop their own vocabulary.
The study of English for professionals also covers the different language skills: speaking, listening, writing and reading, as in traditional classes.
In the market you can get various courses, oriented to these areas, so that you know their terminology, in addition to putting you in contact with similar situations that arise in your daily work. Some areas are:
In a study published in 2013 by the Latin American Journal of Nursing, in which 46 universities in Spain were analyzed, all of which included studying a second language, with an emphasis on English.
However, 39.4% does not include any subject in English, and of the remaining 60.6% that includes it, 60% considered it an elective subject, 32.5% was of basic content and only 7.5% classifies it as compulsory. And the reality has not changed much these years.
This means that many professionals they have arrived in the labor field without knowledge of technical English, when a good part of the studies, books and advances in the sector originate in Anglo-Saxon countries. For this reason, many have chosen to take specialized courses and expand their professional skills.
Law / Finance / Administration and banking
One of the particularities of these areas is that the phrases used have a specific structure, different from standard English... Many terms even have an ancient origin and are not used in other contexts.
To be able to practice in a context where English is spoken, it is necessary to know everything from the names that each charge receives, to the structure of a legal document or a financial contract.
Engineering / Technology and Telecommunications
If English is the language of business, it is also the language of technology and innovation . But each branch, each process, each team, each development has its own language.
Whether you work in production, development, maintenance, planning, testing, logistics, or customer service, there are specific courses to teach you everything from input to understanding the science of the Internet of Things (IoT) or a programming language. .
One of the greatest sources of knowledge and updating in this sector are scientific, private or university and institute publications. Do you feel able to understand the texts to keep up with your profession? Ready to write your latest research in English and share it with your colleagues?
Scientists use quite academic English, characterized by the use of a more complex and elaborate language, with specific vocabulary and expressions, in which objects, situations or processes are explained with a logical structure. This also applies to presentations and conferences, of course.
If your industry is not on this list, don't worry. Research well in your city, or the offer of online classes; you will surely find what you need. There are also a number of tools that you can incorporate into your routine to practice technical English.
How to learn technical English?
Each career has its own requirements and needs for learning. However, there are some general recommendations that can help improve your professional vocabulary. We list a few in this list:
Review technical texts
Becoming familiar with topics related to your professional area is a good way to learn new terms. You can review guides, manuals, articles or news; there will appear words and expressions to enrich your English in a technical way.
Create strategies for reading and understanding texts in technical English
Some texts may be heavy at first, or you may not understand too much because it contains many technicalities. If this is your case, take notes, make summaries, talk with other people to see if you understood the content.
Consult specialized dictionaries and linguistic corpus
This tool never fails. If you want to know more phrases and expressions, or you just don't know the meaning of a term you just read, you can find the answer there.
When you read, talk or watch a video that contains technical English, learn to recognize these expressions or "slangs" typical of your profession. This way, you will be able to incorporate them properly.
Take technical English and technical vocabulary classes
There are specialized courses that will help you develop both smoothly. Check out the options they offer, and if there are specific classes related to your career area. The best thing is that you can take these lessons online, adjusted to your schedule and needs.
Review interactive material
Various studies affirm that watching audiovisual content activates more areas of the brain, stimulating greater learning. Today there are many options, such as videos, infographics, podcasts, applications and games that will help you in your goal.
Get involved in situations where you must speak English, it is the best way to practice and let go of the fear of using another language. Chat with colleagues, practice your presentations with friends or family, answer your calls in English and read aloud to gain confidence.
Examples of technical English
Do you know what terms like budget, thresholds, production, earnings, balance sheet, headquarters, administration or brainstorming? These are just some basic examples of terms that are currently used in various professional and business sectors.
To get close to them, and learn how to use them properly, you need to incorporate exercises into your routine. Only then will he begin to identify and get to know them. To do this, you can review materials with content related to your career, such as:
- Manuals and tutorials
- Books, eBooks and how-to guides
- Studies and research
English exercises for professionals
Do you want to improve your technical English with daily practice? Here are some oral or written exercises you can use:
- Briefly describe the processes or tasks related to your job.
- Compare your responsibilities and tasks with other departments in the company.
- Develop presentations in which you talk about your experience and professional profile.
- Prepare reports in which they use concepts and terms related to their area.
- Arguing with colleagues about work situations, generating fixation of vocabulary in the brain.
- Write summaries about the specialized texts you have recently read.
- Describe your day to day at work with a friend or colleague.
- Practicing an upcoming presentation will help you improve your pronunciation.
Remember to pay attention to grammatical structures, in conjunction with the proper use of the correct technical terms.
You can always consult with a teacher or colleague to review your progress and exercises. English for professionals must also be precise, clear, direct, as well as formal.
Choosing the Right Technical English Course
If you have decided to enroll in an English course, we suggest you review the following considerations in order to choose the one that best suits your needs. The program must:
- Be focused on your professional area.
- Have a methodology that allows you to involve everyday situations so you can practice and gain confidence.
- Review and analyze specialized content: technical texts, articles, manuals and others that put you in contact with the vocabulary you need for your career
- Offer schedules, or online classes, that can be supplemented by your job responsibilities.
- Include activities to develop all language skills: speaking, listening, writing and reading.
How to certify your knowledge of specialized English?
Many companies take advantage of the selection and recruitment process to know and check if a professional has fluency in a language, through job interviews in English, as well as specific tests.
However, there are official exams that certify your level of proficiency in English, both general and technical.
IELTS and TOEFL
The IELTS and the TOEFL are the best known tests to certify English proficiency. Both also have general exams, but they can take the academic test, which is focused on showing their professional skills.
This academic test is made up of several parts in which conversation, writing and reading skills are evaluated.
In the case of reading comprehension, you will need to proofread academic or scientific texts, while in writing you must also develop professional essays, in which you must show your ability to use technical terms.
It is a test specifically designed to know the knowledge of English that a person has within the professional environment. Every year, it is performed by millions of people in the world.
The TOEIC tests all four language skills, but with a focus on performance within a global corporate environment. It has a rating system between 10 and 900 points to determine your level.
There are initiatives of some universities or institutes that offer their own evaluations with the issuance of certificates, to determine the professional competence of the participants.
These include the Key English Test (KET) and the Preliminary English Test (PET) of the University of Cambridge, or the Mondiale Online Technical English Test (MOTET), among others.
Speaking English will always be a positive point for your professional profile. But knowing the technical English of your area can be the difference between getting the job of your dreams or not, since it means being able to get better performance in work situations.
English for professionals is directly related with the specific vocabulary of a professional area, just as it happens in Spanish. If you already speak the English language, taking this step will be much easier.
There are various ways to improve your technical English, from traditional classes that you can now take online, to small daily exercises that you can put into practice. There are no reasons not to learn.
If you're ready to get ready, follow these tips that we share in this article. Surely you will begin to notice the difference and you will be able to think big, in what respects your professional career. Know the possibilities that we offer you in English2Go to improve your technical English on our website.
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