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English at work in Berlin: A report on a survey of seven multinational companies in Germany

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Abstract

SINCE THE 1990s, there has been a dramatic change in the structure of many large European companies. While previously many were ‘particularly solidly established in their countries of origin’ (Truchot 2002:14), they have now become multinational and are less identifiable with a particular country. A case in point is DaimlerChrysler, formed in 1998 through the merger of Daimler-Benz (a German manufacturer of motor vehicles) and the Chrysler Corporation (a US automobile manufacturer). A side effect of the rise of such corporations has been that English has become a key language of international business. This has certainly been true for DaimlerChysler, which has given English official status in the company.

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