Variation of English business e-mails in Asian countries


business English
inglés de los negocios
correos electrónicos

How to Cite

Carrió Pastor, M. L., & Muñiz Calderón, R. (2013). Variation of English business e-mails in Asian countries. Ibérica, (26), 55–76. Retrieved from


The overall aim of this paper is to detect whether there is language variation in a setting such as international business communication, in which interaction is expected to be precise and concise. In order to achieve this, the research aims of this paper are, first, to detect whether there is variation in the internal organization of e-mails; second, to analyse the moves and steps in the e-mails (Swales, 1990; Bhatia, 1993) and the changes in the organization patterns; and, third, to establish whether the variation in the internal organization and the moves of the e-mails interfered with the exchange of ideas. The corpus used in this study was made up of authentic texts, consisting of one hundred e-mails, written by business managers from India and China, who communicate in English with their counterparts in order to report business issues at their offices, which are subsidiaries of an international company specialising in the manufacture of machinery. Firstly, we analysed the moves of the corpus taking into consideration the standard structure of e-mails, following the proposal made by Bhatia (1993). Secondly, we detailed the steps used in Moves 5 and 6 as the non-native speakers of English varied the structure of these moves. Thirdly, we contrasted the results obtained in the analysis of the moves and steps in the e-mails and discussed whether move variation in international business communication is due to the influence of the cultural or linguistic background of the writer. The conclusions show that the influence of the mother tongue of the speakers of English as an international language is changing the use of English in Asian countries.

Copyright (c) 2013 María Luisa Carrió Pastor, Rut Muñiz Calderón

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


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