Many companies doing business worldwide have long had a de facto policy of speaking English in global transactions and meetings, but some companies have started to codify the policy to make it official. The latest company to officially institute an English language policy is Honda. All Honda global meetings, whether face-to-face or video conference meetings, will be conducted in English going forward, reports Bloomberg.
The policy was announced internally to employees in April. Employees with dealings with Honda’s international units or partners are expected to learn the language, or hire the services of an interpreter. The policy change is a reflection of Honda’s strategy of de-centralizing decision making to regional units. Honda follows Japanese internet retailer Rakuten in adopting English in company communications. Japanese tire giant Bridgestone is also adopting English as the language of global communications, but taking a more gradual approach. Nissan Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn also implemented an English language policy for global communications more than 10 years ago.
Many global hubs of commerce in Asia and around the world have a history of British colonialism that have left an English language legacy, such as Hong Kong and Mumbai, India. Nissan’s Infiniti brand is in the process of moving its global headquarters to Hong Kong.