Back to Back Issues Page
English Detective #12, Cross-cultural Business & Micro-finance: May 7, 2013
May 06, 2013

Introducing this issue:

English Detective 12 looks at multi-cultural issues in business, with an article about two more business “gurus” and an optional look at some cultural differences that can affect business dealings.

We also look at finance vocabulary and at micro-finance. Micro-finance is one way to enable people who have been stuck in poverty to develop businesses that can support their families and make a better life for their children.

You can practice the vocabulary with a quiz on the business vocabulary in this issue and the last.

Your First Clue: Vocabulary we’ll Emphasize in this Issue

academic, acquisition, allocation, circumstances, compensation, conformity, consequences, construction, contract, currency, dimension, dynamic, estimated, excluded, fee, generated, implement, impose, incentive, initiative, maximum, preceding, pursue, sufficient

A couple of explanations (see also the Money Words page below or the Academic Word List Vocabulary pages starting here ):

We’ve talked a lot about academic vocabulary, but I just realized we have not yet really examined the word. It comes from ‘academy,’ originally the name of the place where Plato taught in ancient Greece. Now ‘academy’ is used for schools or institutions that encourage the study of a particular subject. In the U.S. private high schools are often named academies.

We use the adjective form, ‘academic,’ for anything related to higher (university) education. So academic vocabulary is words used often by scholars or in universities. Sometimes it is also used as a noun: university professors may be called ‘academics.’

To acquire is to get something, usually by buying it. Acquisitions may be land, money, or companies. (“The newest acquisition of multi-national Corporation X is an American seed company, to enable them to expand their farming operations.”) A person who is acquisitive is greedy-- they want to have a lot.

Incidentally, while I was researching the language site Duolingo, I just found a good example of the use of acquisition. This (old-- but still interesting) article just before Duolingo went live is titled “Meet Duolingo, Google’s Next Acquisition Target; Learn A Language, Help The Web.” It suggests that Google may want to buy this company from its creator, just as it bought his previous companies. (Click here if you would like to see it for yourself.)
This Issue’s Reading and Practice Activities

For the BBC program on business gurus who have studied cross-cultural business, click here.

Learn a little more about financial vocabulary ("money words.”)

Click here for the article on microfinance.

If you would like extra reading on doing business with people of different cultures (not so important for practicing AWL vocabulary, but interesting) Click here.

Test your Deductions

Here's the quiz.

Coming in the next issue: Social Entrepreneurs-- Businesspeople fighting poverty.

In case you missed these: Earlier issues of English Detective have articles on a number of topics, plus practice with over 200 words from the Academic Word List. You can check them out with the link to the back issues page below (or find what words were practiced each issue here.

P.S. If you’re not already getting English Detective, you can subscribe by completing the form here. (It's free!)

Back to Back Issues Page