在職場上常常需要用英文與同事或客戶溝通，但英文不好，講出來總是卡卡的，而如果說出錯誤的英文就會造成別人誤解，或者語意上的曲解，導致雙方的關係惡化。像是常見的 Do you understand 在語調上也很容易讓對方感受到被冒犯，那我們該怎麼應對呢，一起來看看這些實用的職場英文吧！
一、職場英文：語調的重要性 The importance of intonation
When you’re still learning a new language, it’s hard to remember the importance of intonation when you’re already so busy thinking about the correct grammar, vocabulary, etc. However, intonation makes a big difference to the meaning of what you say in English, and sometimes, you might come off as being rude or sarcastic without even realizing it. The problem here is probably not what you say, but how you’re saying it.
Here are some general rules of thumb to avoid those awkward miscommunications:
1. Emphasize and stress keywords 強調並加重關鍵字
A common habit for English-learners is speaking in a flat tone, where everything is at the same pitch and unstressed, like a robot.
2. Raise the tone 提高音調
Remember to raise your tone at the end of a ‘YES/NO’ question, when asking for a favor, and when making a request. Otherwise, it will sound like a demand.
3. Use the right pitch 使用正確的音高
Your voice and how you sound should match your words and intentions. This will make the biggest difference between being polite and impolite in many cases!
The same sentences can deliver different messages depending on your intonation. Below are a few examples (underlined= raised tone / stressed word):
根據您的語調，相同的句子可以傳遞不同的信息。以下是一些範例（粗體 = 揚起的音調/強調）：
Are you okay? → shows real emotions and concern
Are you okay? → sounds insincere and emotionless
Do youunderstand? → shows doubt and patience
Do you understand? → the flat tone used here may come off as being impatient
Understanding how intonation works is also crucial for other types of sentences. The words you choose to stress and emphasize can portray very different meanings.
She’s not his girlfriend. → this is stressing that the ‘she’ in our sentence is not the girlfriend, but ‘someone else’ is
這是強調我們句子中的 ’ 她 ’ 不是女朋友，而是其他人
She’s not his girlfriend. → they probably just broke up and she is definitely not his girlfriend (anymore)
She’s not his girlfriend. → she’s not his girlfriend, but she is ‘someone else’s’ girlfriend
She’s not his girlfriend. → she is not his girlfriend, but maybe his sister?
Even native speakers misuse their pitch and stress sometimes so it’s okay to make mistakes. However, you need to try as much as you can to remember and practice your intonation so people will understand what you really mean. Do you have any questions?