Types of Language Barriers

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Every day people communicate with others in person or by using various types of technology -- by using words and their meanings to convey a particular message. Language is not as cut and dried as many people view it to be, however. People encounter numerous language barriers every day, and often the meaning of these messages is misunderstood. This creates problems for both the sender and the receiver.


One type of language barrier is judging information. Kimberly Moynahan Gerson of Archeolink.com says people fall into two distinct groups when it comes to communication: People either judge or perceive information. Judgers make use of their preferences and opinions when communicating with others. When they speak, they are very direct, and the person on the receiving end of the message has no problem knowing where they stand on a subject. They also let others know what they want from them by using clear, concise language. They ask others for more information to clarify their viewpoints and to make their final decisions. They also thrive on closure -- and always need an end to the discussion.


Instead of using their opinion to make decisions toward communicating, the perceivers use the actions of others and their environment to decide how they will communicate their needs to others They are careful not to make judgments based solely on their observations. To get what they want, they state their perceptions and allow the world to decipher what they want. Perceivers are not direct and instead give others subtle clues about what they want. Even when all the information is given, they are never quick to make a final decision. Instead, they may inquire more about the topic so they can make additional perceptions.


CharlotteWorks.org reports that language barriers often coincide with cultural differences, which lead to misunderstandings in the workplace. For instance, a person who speaks very little English might be intimidated or find it frustrating to speak with an English-speaking supervisor. It may also be just as difficult or frustrating for native English-speaking co-workers and supervisors to communicate with co-workers who speak very little English. One downside to such a language barrier is that workers who do not have a strong grasp of the English language are more likely to have an accident on the job due to their inability to understand safety standards in the workplace.

Online Lingo

Due to the increase in different forms of technology, such as computers, cell phones and other wireless devices -- where communication is short and sweet -- people tend to use online lingo. While there are different ways for a person to get her point across using technology, the lines of communication may also be hard to understand. This is especially true if one person in the conversation uses online lingo that the other person is not familiar with. For instance, if the sender of a message types a message using acronyms such as LOL (laugh out loud) or BRB (be right back), and the receiver is not familiar with this type of language, the receiver of the message cannot comprehend the meaning of the message.

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