Writing for Business Success/Delivering your message/What is language

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We invent the world through language. The world occurs through language.

—Mal Pancoast

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Read Chapter 2 Intro and Section 2.1: What is language?, in Saylor Academy (Ed.) 2012. Business Communication for Success. (See page(s) 35 - 42 in PDF version.) Don't worry about any of the exercises at the moment.

Successful business communication involves writing and speaking in an articulate way. The words we use influence both our own and others’ interpretations of our meanings. These readings discuss language as a system of concepts and symbols, and how both word choice and context can influence how our audience interprets our message. We are also introduced to the semantic triangle model, which describes how our word choices influence audience understanding of our messages, especially in culturally diverse contexts.

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  • Write a reflection (around 250 words) on your learning from these two readings. Add this to your learning journal. Be sure to label or tag your post ccom101.
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  • Exercise 5 (p. 42) invites you to think about word or phrase translations that don’t sound right when translated from English into another language, or vice-versa. For example, if it is raining heavily, an English person might say "It's raining cats and dogs", while a French person might use the French phrase meaning "It's raining ropes". Both of these phrases would be confusing if we translated them into other languages! Can you think of another example? What might a better translation be for your example? Why? Please share your response in the WENotes.

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