Showing posts from June, 2016

English for technical trainers

For engineers to whom English is a foreign language, it can be difficult to avoid misunderstandings. I am thinking of three examples that I encountered: 1) In a meeting with Americans and French people, the French repeatedly explained that: "actually, the situation is..". Now in French, 'actuellement' means, "at the moment" and can carry an implication that things might change. But the Americans obviously took 'actually' to be more of firm statement like 'in fact' - leading to some talk at cross-purposes. 2) A Japanese engineer explained to me that his company use the word 'method' to describe what in C used to be called a 'function', because the word function has many meanings (for example, functionality as opposed to a software subroutine) whereas the word 'method' did not. (??) Of course to a native English speaker, 'method' also has other meanings (eg 'the way someting is done' ) so the reaso