martes, 17 de mayo de 2011
Telephoning in English
Articles from About.
Telephone English - Important Phrases
There are a number of phrases and idioms that are only used when telephoning. Let's first take a look at an example dialogue: Here are the most common:
Operator: Hello, Frank and Brothers, How can I help you?
Peter: This is Peter Jackson. Can I have extension 3421?
Operator: Certainly, hold on a minute, I'll put you through...
Frank: Bob Peterson's office, Frank speaking.
Peter: This is Peter Jackson calling, is Bob in?
Frank: I'm afraid he's out at the moment. Can I take a message?
Peter: Yes, Could you ask him to call me at . I need to talk to him about the Nuovo line, it's urgent.
Frank: Could you repeat the number please?
Peter: Yes, that's , and this is Peter Jackson.
Frank: Thank you Mr Jackson, I'll make sure Bob gets this asap.
Peter: Thanks, bye.
As you can see, the language is rather informal and there are some important differences to everyday English. Look at the chart below for key language and phrases used in telephone English:
This is Ken.
Asking who is on the telephone
Excuse me, who is this?
Can I ask who is calling, please?
Asking for Someone
Can I have extension 321? (extensions are internal numbers at a company)
Could I speak to...? (Can I - more informal / May I - more formal)
Is Jack in? (informal idiom meaning: Is Jack in the office?
I'll put you through (put through - phrasal verb meaning 'connect')
Can you hold the line? Can you hold on a moment?
How to reply when someone is not available
I'm afraid ... is not available at the moment
The line is busy... (when the extension requested is being used)
Mr Jackson isn't in... Mr Jackson is out at the moment...
Taking a Message
Could (Can, May) I take a message?
Could (Can, May) I tell him who is calling?
Would you like to leave a message?
Exercises for Practicing Speaking on the Telephone
The most important thing about practicing telephone conversations is that you shouldn't be able to see the person you are speaking to on the phone. You may ask, 'How can I do that if I am practicing with a friend or another classmate?' Here are a few suggestions for practicing phone calls without looking at your partner:
If you are in the same room - Put your chairs back to back and practice speaking on the phone, you will only hear the other person's voice which will approximate a telephone situation.
Use the telephone - This is pretty obvious, but really not used that often. Give your friend a call and practice various conversations (role plays).
Use internal office phones at work - This is one of my favorites and great for business classes. If your class is on site (at the office) go to different offices and call one another practicing conversations. Another variation is for the students to go into another office and have the teacher telephone them pretending to be a native speaker in a hurry. It's then up to the students to make sure they have communicated what they need, or understood what the caller wants. This exercise is always a lot of fun - depending on how good your teacher is at acting!
Tape yourself - If you are practicing alone, tape standard answers and then practice using the tape recorder stopping and starting to simulate a conversation.
Real life situations - Businesses are always interested in telling you about their products. Find a product you are interested in and research it over the telephone. You can ...
call a store to find out the prices and specifications.
ring the company representative to find out details on how the product works.
telephone a consumer agency to find out if the product has any defects.
call customer service to find out about replacement parts, etc.