BEP 382 – Collocations for Discussing a Partnership (2)

BEP 382 – English Collocations for Discussing a Partnership (2)

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on business English collocations for discussing a business partnership.

The expression “two heads are better than one” tells us that it’s easier to solve a problem with someone else rather than alone. This isn’t just true on an individual level. It’s also true on an organizational level. Two companies, if well matched, can accomplish more together than they can alone.

But successful partnerships aren’t developed overnight. There’s a lot that goes into building a relationship, exploring possibilities, and coming to terms on an agreement. And in today’s lesson, we’ll hear a conversation about a new partnership that has taken a lot of time and discussion to develop. In the conversation, you’ll hear many useful expressions that we call “collocations.”

Collocations are simply words that go together naturally. A second ago I talked about “building a relationship.” That’s a collocation. The verb “build” goes together with “relationship” very naturally. Native English speakers learn these combinations over time, by hearing them over and over again. As a language learner, it’s useful to study English collocations so you can sound more natural.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Carlos and Miranda talking with a business consultant named Rolland. Carlos and Miranda’s company, Pineview Wines, is about to enter into a new partnership with Visser Hotels. In their conversation they use many English collocations for talking about partnerships.

Listening Questions

1. What does Rolland call the partnership at the start of the conversation?
2. What has a lawyer helped Pineview Wines do?
3. While benefiting from close collaboration, what do Carlos and Miranda want to maintain?

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BEP 381 – Collocations for Discussing a Partnership (1)

BEP 381 – English Collocations for Discussing a Partnership (1)

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English collocations related to business partnerships.

The world of business is highly competitive. But does this mean companies never cooperate? Of course not! In fact, partnering with other companies can be a great way to achieve your business goals. That might mean cooperating with a company in the same industry or in a completely different industry.

But good partnerships take a lot of work. And before you get to the actual partnership stage, there’s a lot of discussion. In this lesson, we’ll hear a discussion about a potential partnership between two companies. And during this conversation, the speakers use a lot of useful expressions related to partnerships. The type of expression you’ll hear is called a “collocation.”

A collocation is just a natural combination of words. For example, we talk about “cultivating” or “nurturing a relationship.” But we don’t say “make” or “create a relationship.” It’s not a rule of grammar. It’s just a common and natural pattern for native speakers. And if you want to sound more natural, you should learn these collocations.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Carlos and Miranda, who work for a wine producer called Pineview Wines. They’re talking with a consultant named Rolland about a possible partnership with a hotel chain called Visser. During their conversation, they use lots of English collocations we can use to talk about partnerships.

Listening Questions

1. What have Carlos and Miranda asked Rolland to sign before their discussion?
2. According to Miranda, fostering collaboration with hotels is a good way for their winery to achieve what goal?
3. What does Rolland emphasize two companies must share in order to work together?

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BEP 373 – English for Supply Chain Management (2)

BEP 373 - English for Supply Chain Management 2

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English for supply chain management. Today we’re going to look at the retail side of the supply chain.

In today’s world, distance isn’t always a barrier to doing business. It doesn’t matter if your company is located in France, Thailand, or the U.S. You can sell to customers anywhere in the world.

Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Getting your products onto shelves in other continents, or even other parts of your country, is complex. It relies on a web of people, warehouses, and information. And it might involve multiple forms of transportation, including trucks, ships, cargo planes, and trains.

We call this web of activity the supply chain. And in today’s lesson, we’ll rejoin a meeting at an American clothing company, where managers are discussing the retail side of their supply chain. During their conversation, they use lots of language specific to supply chain management. This language includes what we call “collocations,” or natural combinations of words.

When English speakers learn collocations, they don’t learn them one word at a time. Rather, they learn the words together, as a single expression. You can sound more fluent and natural in English if you learn these collocations, especially the ones related to your industry. As you listen to today’s dialog, try to pick out some of these collocations and we’ll discuss them later in the debrief.

In the dialog, we’ll hear Cam and Tanya, who work for a clothing company called Boston Vintage. Tanya is a supply chain manager located in Malaysia. Cam is based in the U.S. and works as a production planner. They’re talking about expanding their retail operations in southeast Asia, and they use many collocations specific to supply chain management in their conversation.

Listening Questions

1. What does Tanya say is very ambitious?
2. What does Tanya say has fortunately not been impacted by being so busy?
3. According to Tanya, what will having a 4PL enable them to do?

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BEP 372 – English for Supply Chain Management (1)

BEP 372 - English for Supply Chain Management and Logistics (1)

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English for logistics and supply chain management. Today we’re going to look at the manufacturing side of the supply chain.

When you pick a product off a shelf at a local store, it’s easy to forget what a long hard road that product has travelled. It may have parts and materials from all over the world. It may be shipped to multiple locations for processing. And once it’s ready and packaged, it may travel long distances to make it to your neighborhood.

This enormous network of information, people, materials, and processes is called a supply chain. And the people who coordinate everything are involved in supply chain management. Good supply chain management can make the difference between a happy customer and an angry customer, and between profit and loss.

In this lesson, we’ll listen to a meeting at a clothing company with a complex supply chain connecting the U.S. and Asia. During the meeting, the colleagues use many English expressions we call “collocations.” Collocations are simply natural frequently occurring combinations of words. A good example of a collocation is “supply chain management.”

Native English speakers use collocations like this automatically. And specific groups of people or fields of work have certain collocations they commonly use. By studying these collocations, you’ll improve your vocabulary and sound more fluent. As you listen to the conversation, try to pick out some of these collocations and we’ll discuss them later in the debrief.

In the dialog, we’ll hear Cam and Tanya. Cam is a production planner for Boston Vintage in the U.S. Tanya is a supply chain manager helping to develop the company’s supply chain in southeast Asia. Cam and Tanya use many collocations specific to supply chain management in their conversation about the manufacturing side of the supply chain.

Listening Questions

1. What is Tanya’s first big concern on the manufacturing side of things?
2. What does Cam say that people on the ground have expectations about?
3. What does Tanya say will increase costs but help manage risk?

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BEP 356 – Financial English: Discussing Taxes 2

BEP 356 - Financial English: Discussing Taxes 2

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on financial English vocabulary for discussing taxes.

Spring is a busy time for accountants in the U.S. and many other countries. That’s because spring is when corporations and individuals have to file a tax return with the government. It’s our yearly reminder that we don’t get to keep everything we earn.

Of course, those busy accountants aren’t just calculating your revenue and costs. They’re looking for ways to reduce the amount you – or your business – have to pay in tax. And that’s why the chatter around offices and board rooms is all about ways to avoid handing over too much money to the tax man.

Listen to these conversations and you’ll notice many useful expressions. For example, I’ve already used the phrase “file a tax return.” That verb “file” always goes with “return” when we talk about our annual submission to the government. You can learn those words together, as one expression or “collocation.”

A collocation is just a natural combination of words that native English speakers learn as a chunk. With English collocations, we don’t have to go searching for every word in our brain. Instead, we pull out a string of words that matches our intended meaning. Learning these strings of words is more efficient, and will make you sound more natural. As you listen to today’s conversation, try to pick out some of these collocations and we’ll discuss them later in the debrief.

In the dialog, we’ll continue with a conversation about the tax situation of a company called Brando Equipment. Christie has been giving an update to two senior managers: Glen and Ivana. Last time, Christie gave them an overall picture of the tax situation, and today she’s providing more detail.

Listening Questions

1. What does Christie say is one factor that increased their reported income?
2. What helped reduce the company’s reported income by about $50,000?
3. What important issue does Ivana want to discuss in more detail at the end of the dialog?”

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