We launched this “On the Job” series to find out how people use English in their working lives. We talk to them about jargon in their profession, writing on the job and what advice they’d give to learners of English.
Who do you work for?
I work for myself. I own a restaurant called Grinders in Beijing and I also own a company called China Voice Over where we do English voice recordings.
What is your position?
CEO and Owner
How important is being able to speak/write good English in your job?
English is absolutely vital to my work. Most of the customers in my restaurant are native English speakers so I need to clearly communicate with them. For my voice company we only use English as we voice English commercials, documentaries and promos.
Does your field have its own particular jargon? Could you share some of the more unusual terms with us?
VO’s or voiceovers. SOT’s or “Sound On Tape” Headphones are known as “cans”.
Have any new terms been coined in your field recently? If yes, which?
“Chinglish” is bantered about quite often when scripts are written by non-native English speakers or by people that don’t have a strong command of the language.
Do you ever ask another person to proofread your work? If so, in which circumstances?
I don’t ask people to proofread my work because I am supposed to be the English expert.
What mistakes or phrases in English do you find most annoying? Why?
I find that the use of “the” and “a” is often wrong. Also I find people mix up she and he. To me, she and he are very basic and should not be mistaken so much.
What advice would you give to learners of English to help them improve their English in the workplace?
Listen to English radio and watch as many English movies as you can.
Would you like to add anything that you think our readers would find interesting?
English is probably the world’s most common language so it’s extremely important in today’s business world. There are so many great works of art written in English that it opens up an entirely different world for you.
Want to hear what some of the other interviewees said? Head over to the On the Job series home page here.