A few weeks ago, a friend of mine was raving about a salad she ate at a new restaurant.
She kept going on and on about this type of salad green she had tried, which I did not recognize.
“What is this strange food I have never heard of?” I wondered.
But after a while, I realized it was just a matter of mispronunciation. She was trying to say “arugula.”
Her mispronunciation kept us from communicating clearly at first, and gave us a nice little laugh once we figured out the issue! Thankfully, this was a casual conversation and not a board meeting or an office presentation.
Have you ever been part of a conversation where mispronunciation caused miscommunication?
Often, it is pretty clear a person has learned the mispronounced word through reading—which is actually nothing to be embarrassed about! Reading is a great way to learn and grow your vocabulary. However, it can be hard to figure out how to say certain new words.
Thankfully, business English audiobooks eliminate that problem. With audiobooks, a narrator reads the book out loud, so you instantly learn how English words sound and can try pronouncing them yourself.
That means you will not learn incorrect pronunciations and build bad habits into your business English.
Why Should I Listen to Business English Audiobooks?
While listening to business English audiobooks might not sound like the most fun activity, they are typically made with non-native English speakers in mind. This means you are able to learn without getting too frustrated with the vocabulary or how quickly the narrator speaks.
Unlike a live conversation or class, with a business English audiobook you have the ability to pause, rewind and take notes about anything you need to work on or do not understand fully. You will not have to feel embarrassed asking someone to slow down or repeat what they have said. Audiobooks also allow you to easily practice specific concepts you are struggling to learn or listen to lessons that target your exact goals.
In other words, you have complete control over how many times you need to listen to a specific part of a sentence.
And—as my earlier story illustrates—hearing words properly pronounced can make a huge difference in your ability to speak English without picking up bad pronunciation habits. While reading can teach us a lot, there are definite advantages to being able to actually hear the language being used.
Perhaps the strongest reason to use business English audiobooks is how flexible they are. You can listen to them at the gym or even during your commute to and from work.
Once you try using business English audiobooks to help you become a better English speaker, I think you will agree they are a perfect addition to other learning materials, like FluentU. Why? Well, FluentU is like an audiobook but with fun things to watch while you listen. It is a great addition to your audiobook learning!
FluentU takes real-world videos—like business dialogues, inspiring speeches, news and more—and turns them into personalized English lessons.
FluentU has a huge collection of English videos that people in the English-speaking world actually watch.
More to the point, FluentU has an entire business category filled with authentic business-related videos covering six language levels.
To show the variety of videos even inside this single category, real-world business videos on FluentU include “Introducing Business Colleagues,” “Business Buzzwords,” “Control Your Inbox!” and “What Warren Buffet Thinks About Cash.”
An added bonus is that if you want to work on other topics later, simply use the same, familiar FluentU platform to learn with videos from other categories, such as “Science and Tech,” “Politics and Society” or mix it up with “Arts and Entertainment” or “Health and Lifestyle.”
Every spoken word is subtitled, complete with an in-context definition, image and multiple example sentences.
All you have to do is tap or click on one of the words in those subtitles to get more information. For example, if you tap on the word “brought,” you will see this:
Plus, these great videos are all accompanied by interactive features and active learning tools, like multimedia flashcards and fun games like “fill in the blank.”
If you are interested in watching fun, relevant videos and practicing language actively in the process, be sure to create a FluentU account and try it out on your computer, iOS or Android device!
9 Business English Audiobooks for Learning the Right Way
Ready to get listening? Below, we will show you several business English audiobooks written specifically for language learners. Then we will also show you audiobooks created for native speakers that you can use to advance your business English skills.
Business English Audiobooks Created for Language Learners
This audiobook covers a broad range of business related topics to help you succeed professionally. It is designed not only to build your language skills but also to make you more comfortable in English-speaking work environments.
There are four hours of content across four audio CDs. You will get foundational grammar lessons as well as industry-specific vocabulary. There are also dialogues you can follow along with to build your own speaking skills.
The audiobook itself does not just cover language topics. You will also learn about idioms, immigration and visas, social etiquette and cultural differences.
This is a short audiobook course for quickly building English confidence and language skills.
Topics include how to present, use the phone, negotiate and socialize in English. The audiobook is set up as a series of “tasks” that you study from, plus practice activities for building your skills.
This audiobook is from a U.K.-based publisher so you will be exposed to British English.
In this audiobook, you will learn many of the different idioms and expressions Americans use to communicate in the workplace. The goal is to make you feel more comfortable with these “Americanisms” so that you never feel lost in conversation.
This audiobook will help you understand what people mean when they use sayings that do not make much sense on their own, such as step up to the plate (take action or take responsibility for getting something done) or in the red (generally meaning a company is operating at a net loss).
The audiobook comes with example dialogues demonstrating conversations you might encounter in the office or in job interviews in the U.S.
This book keeps a clear focus on the 99 most common English idioms and phrasal verbs used in the English-speaking business world.
Each phrase is explained with five real-life examples to help you fully understand how they are used. The definitions are simple to understand, and the audiobook narration is slow and easy to follow.
Once you finish this audiobook you will be well-prepared when you hear these sayings in the workplace.
Once you finish this audiobook you will have a much larger business English vocabulary. The audiobook presents key words for you to learn, along with example sentences so you know how to use them.
You will also hear the vocabulary used in sample conversations that demonstrate a wide range of English accents.
This two-part audiobook teaches you essential business English vocabulary and then puts it into action.
The first part covers 86 vocabulary words and phrases that all business English learners should know. The second part provides practice articles that use those vocabulary words so you can see them in context.
The audiobook even has background sound effects to give some life to the narration and keep your attention.
Similar to “Speak Business English Like an American” (also by this author), this audiobook provides key expressions you will need for an American workplace.
You will hear just how important idioms and expressions are to American professionals. The reviews for this audiobook are quite positive and you will appreciate the natural, realistic narration.
Authentic Business English Audiobooks
For advanced business English students, the following audiobooks written for native speakers will provide a bit of challenge (and you might pick up some new business skills)!
This engaging business audiobook will hold your interest with stories about major companies such as Xerox and General Electric. While you are entertained and learning valuable business information, you will also be learning business English as you listen!
In this audiobook, you will likely hear many of the new idioms and expressions you have been learning. The narration is slow and steady and provides a great example of an American accent.
TED Talks are presentations known for their engaging educational content. Listen to this audiobook to learn how to become a powerful public speaker at work and improve your business English skills at the same time.
Listening to audiobooks will give you great opportunities to hear English in action. They will also demonstrate proper pronunciation of different words and show you how native English sentence structure flows. With Business English audiobooks in your language learning toolkit, you will be able to improve your skills quickly and efficiently—even on the go!
Sarah Frady spends her days chasing after her two little girls. She has a B.S. degree from the University of South Carolina. She spends her evenings as a professional writer and entrepreneur. She endeavors to uplift, inspire, educate and encourage other moms on her blog Our Happy Imperfection.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.