AAC Global Blog

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Do you speak finance?

Do you scratch your head when you hear people using terms at work such as reimbursement, amortization, CAGR, EBITDA, consolidation, ROI, or even terms from the news such as “a run on the banks”?

Unfamiliar finance terminology can be dense, incomprehensible, jargonistic and even – at times – argotic claptrap! But, what should we do when we come up against with terms that we don’t understand? Well, a good old dictionary is a fine start, but as finance is a fast-changing world, you should really use an online dictionary for the most current terminology.

Use a free resource such as Merriam-Webster, or the Cambridge Dictionary, especially if the terminology includes generic words, such as the word “reimbursement” at the beginning of this paragraph, or an idiom. There are many other free resources available – here’s one for “dense”, and “incomprehensible”, and “Jargonistic”, and “argotic”, and finally, “claptrap”.

Harness the power of free online resources

But, back to the finance language: you can also try a specialised finance dictionary such as Investopedia, which is great for acronyms such as CAGR (compound annual growth rate).

Of course, Google is the king of all resources these days, and you can simply type any finance term into the search bar and be virtually guaranteed to find a worthy explanation from the first or second result.

Free eBook ways to put language training into action at work

But, have you thought about how to go further with new terms? Try doing a new search for a term, but this time for videos. Here’s a search for videos on EBITDA that brings up ten great results on the first search page alone – each of which not only teaches you the “how to,” but also allows you to hear the term pronounced, hear it in context and, if you listen carefully, hear what verbs and prepositions are commonly used with EBITDA.

Now, all that’s left for you to do is to reproduce the term yourself. Try saying it aloud, writing it down, translating it into your native language – and pretty soon you’ll be ready to drop it into the conversation around the meeting table!


Learning English Business English Financial terminology Online learning resources Dictionaries

Glennon Kiernan-Lahti

Glennon Kiernan-Lahti

Glennon Kiernan-Lahti works as a Digital Marketing Specialist making educational, engaging and relevant content for our customers. He previously worked here as a Specialist Trainer - teaching business English to everyone from entry-level employees to CEOs. Originally from Ireland, he enjoys helping his clients to get their message through, living in a country with more than one season, and forcing Finns to make small-talk.

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