Is my English bad?

Vanina Delobelle

Is my English bad?
Lots of people complain because they have not been hired because of their language level. On the other hand some managers pretend they do not hire based on language skills but more on experience but when it comes to effectively do interviews, the language level can be eliminatory.

Is this normal? Should we pay attention to language level more than what an employee can bring to a company? Is it better having an American working in France than a Frenchy French?

I already stated how important international mobility is for both companies and employees (cf my former article International Mobility), however I am not sure that all companies do really put enough stress on this management aspect.

When different nationalities work together within a company, it is very very the right way :
L[We can feel much more respect between people.]l
L[We help more each other.]l
L[We try to understand the others but also learn from them.]l
L[We leave aside some of our local habits.]l

What about the language in all this? Nobody cares as long as we understand each other. Can we today pay as much attention as before to language level? Some speak certainly better English than others but it does not mean that they are better in their daily work. Some speak more American than British English, so what ? We should never put aside a candidate only because of its language skills. Indeed if a candidate is interested in joining a company, his motivation is maybe ranking first in term of criteria.

On the other hand, “is my English bad or good” should not be an hindrance for sending once application.

Let’s just put aside some of our old habits on languages and see who is in front of us. Lets really pay attention to the people and personality more than on anything else.

One does not speak very well English but he maybe speaks another language which might be very helpful one day for the company, who knows !

Commentaires (6)
1. Vanina le 17/01/2007 09:07
Bon mince alors, vous n'aimez pas mes articles en anglais? Sniffffff
2. Nathalie le 18/01/2007 06:23
Dont' worry!
C'est juste que nous sommes peut-être un peu occupé(s) d'autant que je découvre moi aussi les blogs expat depuis quelques temps.
Mais rassure-toi, nous t'aimons bien même lorsque tu prends des accents skakespeariens :)
Au fait, bonne année!

PS: ton lien vers mon blog n'est pas actualisé (

Bien à toi,
3. Marie le 18/01/2007 09:32
I'm not sure I completely agree with this post.

I had an interview with a chinese person for an internship. He was motivated for sure. However he barely understand what I said. It was one of these strange interview where you feel like shaking your interviewee to stop him saying yes and stop the disturbing incomprehension glow in his eyes...

I must admit I didn't try to speak english with him. Not that I felt he won't be able to... but French in France is not a "nice to have". Not for this intership at least.

But... I also must admit that I wasn't hired for my English skills. My interview wasn't a success to be honest. It was more than 2 years ago: I am now used to speak english in calls with several countries and like to say I am "advanced".
4. Vanina le 18/01/2007 14:10
You are taking an extreme case:) I was not talking about those who cannot say a word. I also met chinese doing their Master Recherche with me and who were carring in with a PhD, unbelievable...they could not also say any word...hard for a PhD, no?
5. David le 18/01/2007 17:50
I daily work with asian people for buying purpose. I noticed that what is important is not to speak a good english but to have a global understanding... Nowadays, most important is to speak globish and to be able to adapt your level of language to your interlocutor...
So far, your english sounds good ;-)
6. Vanina le 19/01/2007 09:27
This is true. As far as you are understood this is the only requirement:)
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