Can you be a language acrobat?

Updated: Mar 11




Someone recently asked me how our company name, Acrobat-Global, came about. As with most new companies, it took us a while to arrive at a name that we felt encapsulated the message behind our work and could become a recognisable brand.

As authors and trainers of international communication, we felt there had to be a global dimension to our business. We considered a range of options with an international influence including Greek and Latin words from astros and inspire to more Anglo-centric words including edge, reach, bridge. With each word we tried to develop a brand and identity.


Over time, we kept coming back to the word acrobat. Yes, it was perhaps inspired in part by my Greek connections but also by the skills represented by an acrobat. Rather than the gymnastic agility synonymous with a circus acrobat however, we were more interested in the other definition; one adept at swiftly changing or adapting a position or viewpoint*.


This lead us to the concept of a 'language acrobat'. A speaker of English who can communicate effectively with diverse multilingual audiences by knowing when and how to adapt their language swiftly in order to be better understood. And so, Acrobat-Global was born.


Who is this language acrobat? It could be someone who speaks English as their first language or someone who speaks English proficiently as an additional language.

To be a language acrobat we believe you need to follow 3 steps; Recognise, Adapt, Communicate. So first of all, it's important to recognise when your use of English is difficult for others to understand. Secondly, you need to adapt your English using a range of skills and strategies. Then finally, you will have the capability to communicate more effectively in internationally diverse settings.


If you'd like to learn more about how you can be a language acrobat you can read an extract from our book Is that clear? Effective communication in a multilingual world or contact us at www.acrobat-global.com to find out more about our workshops.

Kathryn Alevizos


*definition taken from Merriam Webster online dictionary

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