All of us need to speak a language to communicate with one another. Even people with speech impairments communicate with brail and sign languages. However, where people fail to understand each other’s language, communication becomes difficult. Linguistic barriers are the most common form of barrier responsible for causing misunderstandings and misinterpretations among people.
Most of the world population do not speak English, and even if they do, they speak it as the second or third language. In most cases, the speaker and the receiver fail to use and understand the same language, causing ineffective communication and failing to convey the message.
Here are some of the fundamental reasons why words are the means of avoiding communication.
1. Difference in Language
The linguistic difference is one of the most common and apparent barriers to establishing communication. But, imagine two people communicating in two different languages. The communication will never be on par. For instance, an American goes to China. The people of China are unable to understand English and communicates only in their language, Chinese. On the other hand, American is unable to understand Chinese. Hence, the communication between the Chinese and the Americans remains worthless, and one cannot understand the other.
2. Regional Accents and Dialects
The accent and dialect or the use of words differ among people belonging to different regions, even though they speak the same language. With people technically speaking the same language but using different dialects and accents, their meanings, implications, and interpretations of words change. The changes due to the difference in dialects and accents might lead to various types of conflicts.
Let us take an example of communication between a Scottish farmer and an English person. When the Scottish farmer talks to the English person, both fail to understand most of their words, although they speak the same language, English. One can interchangeably use the words ham and bacon in Scotland but have a different meaning in English.
3. Use of Pidgins
Pidgin is the simplified language used by people speaking common languages. However, like accents and dialects, the use of words and phrases might create misunderstandings among people.
Let us consider the abbreviation, LOL. People use the terms in chat language, which used to mean Lots of Love. Over time, the abbreviated term changed to laugh Out Loud. When a person says LOL, the other interprets the meaning in any way they want or from their understanding. People use both abbreviations based on the context and need.
4. Lack of Clear Speech
Many people speak softly or have a low voice, which others face difficulty understanding and establishing effective communication. In some instances, the sender might say something, whereas the receiver might understand something else. In spite, people speak a common language, people have immense difficulty in understanding the meaning of the message and the feedbacks, creating an obstacle in communication.
5. Using Jargons and Slang
People often use a lot of jargon, which are the technical words used in communication. There might be differences depending upon the profession, technicality, and specialized field of the person. For example, the technical words used by doctors are different from those used by lawyers. When both of them communicate with each other, they will fail to understand their discussion.
People use specific jargon such as adjournment (used mostly by lawyers and police for delaying trials for defendant) or BP (used by medical professionals for Blood Pressure) in a similar profession. Using different jargon in different professions often faces a language barrier among people and two different professions.
Similarly, the use of slang causes ineffective communication. For instance, people often use the word “grass” to mean marijuana. However, the people who are unaware of the slang meaning face immense problems in communicating.
6. Choice of word
It would help if you considered the choice of words to describe anything before communicating. Often, an individual’s words to show his or her agreement on something might be sarcastic for the other, thereby creating a negative effect on the communication.
Some people have a common vocabulary in a particular language, while others have a high. Although, with literacy and education, people earn new words, yet it is not the only way to increase vocabulary. Reading different types of books, articles, and other forms of writing as per their interest would help in increasing their vocabulary. The vocabulary of a person also decreases if the person is using the language as their unofficial language.
8. Linguistic Ability
Like the literacy of a person, the linguistic ability is the person’s capability in a particular language. Suppose a person has a high vocabulary and high linguistic ability talks with another person with low linguistic ability and vocabulary. In that case, the latter will fail to understand what the former person said. The lack of understanding of the words and messages would result in misinterpretation and misunderstanding of the entire message.
9. Use of Grammar and Spelling
People from different parts of the world use different spellings and grammar in a particular language. Moreover, the grammatical and spelling mistakes also create a huge barrier, especially in written communication.
For instance, a person makes a typing error and writes “done” as don. The computer does not label “don” as wrong as the word “don” is also correct. However, the difference in spelling changes the meaning of the whole sentence, making it difficult to understand.
10. Language Disabilities
Sometimes the barriers in language include physical impediments such as loss of hearing and stuttering. Often people suffering from such conditions. All these physical hindrances might hurt conveying a message and understanding the message.
Remember, communication is never a one-way process. It would be best if you opened up first so that others feel comfortable to open up to you. If you can over the linguistic barrier and the other six communication barriers, ensure that people will hear and understand what you convey. Overcoming linguistic barriers in communication would also make you confident, and you can easily explain your point to others.
Guest Post by Rudrani.