Almost three decades ago, I started my career in banking specializing in shipping, an international industry, by nature. Apart from my university degree in economics, I was also holding a proficiency diploma in the English language, without, at that time, having had the opportunity to practice it living abroad. My first employer was an American shipping bank.
Very soon, I discovered two things:
a) Though I knew the meaning of the word “pollen” I ignored the word “lousy” simply because we never came across that word in our English classrooms. Mind you, ever since, in real life, I have herd of and used a thousand times the latter word but never the first one. The same was true with a lot of idioms. This is justifiable by the fact that the scope of the English schools is restricted in enabling their students to get their diploma.
b) There were various English phrases, very common and popular in the business community but unknown to newcomers like me.
Thus, I had to educate myself, little by little, over the years, learning on-the-job the every-day words and expressions commonly used in the business world, thus enhancing my communication skills. And this is exactly what I did.
When some time ago, my son, Nick, got his own Proficiency diploma in English, I told him, with a great deal of exaggeration, of course: “Well, son, now it is time for you to start learning the real English!” I asked myself what kind of support I would like to have had, if I were in his shoes.
After a while, I came up with this Guide. Naturally, it is not all-inclusive, but definitely it serves its intended purpose to a great extent.
Though the initial purpose was to give my son a hand-out which would be helpful for him when he starts his own career in the business world, I added to the recipients’ list the name of my nephew Vangelis, as well as the names of the children of some good friends of mine.
Then, I thought it would be a good idea to include all the Greeks who speak English as a foreign language and want to start a career in business. And, finally, I thought that there is absolutely no reason why users could not be of any nationality, whatsoever, who feel that they share this need.