I am currently reading Emily Wilson’s translation of Homer’s epic poem the Odyssey.

As the first woman to have fully translated and published Homer’s masterpiece, word choice was something that was at the front of her mind throughout the process.

She morphed the epic poem (composed circa. 8th Century BCE), written in a particularly unusual dialect of Ancient Greek, known as Homeric Greek into exceptionally readable prose in modern English.

Word choice is particularly important when translating; often those engaging in it are encouraged to convey sense rather than meaning. After all, many words that existed in Greek then like ‘Oikos’ meaning ‘household’, ‘hearth’ or ‘family’ have no direct translation into English. Indeed, there are many Greek words that are commonly used in English because there is no translation like ‘hubris’ or ‘ethos’.

Picking your words when communicating in the world of business is hugely important. For example, presenting a challenge you are facing as an ‘issue’ or ‘problem’ to someone might make alarm bells ring!

Follow our top tips below for effective business communication:

  • Think before you speak (or type)
  • Don’t use words that you don’t understand the meaning or inference of
  • Expand your vocabulary by reading, it will help you communicate better!
  • Remove negativity from your vocabulary
  • Proof-read your emails, people tend to pay more attention to the content of your emails if they are syntactically and grammatically correct

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