18: It’s Not Always About The Language with Olivia Augustin

February 20, 2023

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HI! I'm Aimee

In today’s episode of Transmit Safety, I’m talking with Olivia Augustin about learning English, writing emails, and being more inclusive.

In our Health and Safety roles there are people we work with who have English as a second language, third language, fourth language, or more, and let’s face it, English is the suckiest language in the world. So, how do you navigate that situation and guarantee you’re being inclusive?

However, even if we are native speakers, whenever we start work in a new company or a new industry we have to learn a new workplace language, the specific slang that is used there, and, because we’re Health and Safety people, the inevitable acronyms, which is not an easy process.

Luckily, in this episode, we have Olivia Augustin, a certified Technical + Business English teacher who’s also an engineer and the host of the English for Engineers Podcast, as our guest and she has all the answers. 

Tune in to hear her tips for learning a new (workplace) language, how to be more inclusive with non-native speakers, a way to help with your written business communication, and much more.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Olivia’s journey from an engineer to a certified English teacher
  • The biggest concern engineers who work with Olivia have 
  • 5 tips to learn a new (workplace) language
  • The great benefits of using templates for email writing
  • How to be more inclusive when working with non-native English speakers
  • “Engineer speak” and other perception errors about engineers

The Transmit Safety Podcast is here to help health and safety practitioners achieve a holistic approach to workplace health and safety so they can become impactful leaders and put the value of safety into action.

Resources and links

Check out Olivia’s Email for Engineers [Template Package] with more than 30 English email templates to help you streamline your email writing efforts.

Today’s episode was sponsored by Transmit Safety, a consulting business where I help streamline and simplify health and safety management systems through education, program development, audits, and coaching.

If you’d like to join the next cycle of Upgrade and Optimize a group coaching program, go to: transmitsafety.com/program

For more on the Transmit Safety Podcast, go to transmitsafety.com/podcast

Quotes from this episode

“Language is a system and we engineers are trained to recognize systems and to combine systems that wouldn’t work together in the first place. And that’s no different to making two language systems work together. So, I think engineers are excellent at learning languages.”

“It’s not all about the language, even if you have the most perfect grammar, if you have the most fancy vocabulary that you can imagine, if you know the whole dictionary, you still can make cultural mistakes. You can have perfect grammar, and [still] make the worst enemies.”

“Make that human connection. Realize that people are people regardless of what language they’re speaking.”

“I think that is one of the most important questions whenever you start anything written, no matter if it’s a text message, or an email or report: Who are you writing for?”

Connect with Olivia Augustin

Olivia is a civil engineer and certified English teacher turned corporate trainer, her specialty is dissecting the intricate structures of the English language and only putting back the pieces engineers really need to become skilled communicators.

LinkedIn: Olivia Augustin

Instagram: @_marcode_

Podcast: English for Engineers

Website: marcode.org

Connect with Aimee Arsenault

Aimee Arsenault is a CRSP and CHSC. She is the founder of Transmit Safety, a business that helps you simplify and streamline health & safety management systems.

Linkedin: Aimee Arsenault

Instagram: @transmit.safety

Twitter: @transmitsafety

Website: transmitsafety.com