Idioms that Asians must know (1)

“Did you hear through the grapevine that the boss wants us to think more outside the box?  I want to keep you in the loop and not beat around the bush, he is very unhappy with the rising cost projections.”
If you are wondering what the above means, you are not alone. These four idioms and more are used frequently in the business environment and make it difficult for non-native speakers to understand what is being said. There are many good English books in the market that explain some of these idioms but there is no one comprehensive book with everything in it. This is where a good English teacher can help students of English learn the current and most relevant idioms for their industry and career field.
I’m sure by now you are still wondering what the above means—so here is a formal English translation –
“Did you hear the rumors that the boss wants us to be creative in our problem-solving?  He doesn’t want us to choose the usual solutions. I want to make sure that you are informed of everything that is happening and I say very directly that he is very unhappy with the increasing cost projections.”
If you don’t have the time or the money for structured English lessons, then here are some books that might help you: Business Vocabulary in Use by   B. Mascull (this is a very good book at each level and the chapters are organized by topic which makes it much easier to target specific vocabulary); Vocabulary in Use-upper intermediate by M. McCarthy, F. O’Dell, E. Shaw (this book has more general vocabulary but also includes a section on business vocabulary and it is also organized by topic); English Collocations in Use- intermediate by M. McCarthy, F. O’Dell (this is a book that will help you to combine vocabulary words so that you sound more natural like a native speaker) and finally a really good business slang book- The Slangman’s Guide to Biz Speak 1 by D. Burke (an excellent book that explains the slang used by various divisions within a company like marketing, computers, etc.).
Watch this space for more information about English issues causing difficulties for non-native speakers. In the following months, topics will be pronunciation problems, business vocabulary, good English learning websites, and more.
The author is the President of SLS Associates, a local company that specializes in personalized English language lessons and other English language support services. Ms. Gripman is a certified TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) instructor with 20 years of experience.  She has lived and worked overseas for 7 years in 3 different countries., Facebook-SLS Associates, Twitter-SpeakLearn

MI Asian Staff
Author: MI Asian Staff