Language barriers to communication can take place in all sorts of different circumstances because today more people travel to different countries for vacations, for educational purposes, and for business. A language barrier exists if someone loses their way in a city and needs to ask someone else for help but doesn’t know the language well enough to be understood. In this sort of situation, there is normally somebody around to assist who is bilingual and knows the visitor’s language.
Language Barriers Problems and Solutions
In a business context, when a business’s representative flies overseas to secure a supply contract. A language barrier may exist if those who are organizing the deal don’t share a common language. If a visitor to a country needs to use any public services like a hospital or a dentist a language barrier could occur if communication is not possible in a common language. The effects of language barriers in communication could be quite severe. The visitor may get lost, the business supply contract could be lost and the visitor may never get the medical or dental treatment they need. There are ways to overcome language barriers, so all is not lost in this globalized world.
Overcoming Language Barriers to Communication
There are some simple ways of breaking the language barrier as follows:
1. Use plain and simple language
In the workplace, it may be easy to communicate simple ideas but when things become technical and a co-worker does not have complete command of the usual language in the workplace, the only solution is to explain the more technical matter in plain and simple language. Very quickly the communication would be understood. While using highly technical vocabulary when it’s not necessary just makes communication more difficult than it needs to be.
2. Break the language barriers with translation
These days with so many businesses offering translation and interpretation services the easiest solution to language barriers is to connect a multi-lingual audience through translation. Most translation services have translators available in hundreds of languages so there is rarely much difficulty in finding a suitable translator. There are translators who specialize in translating specialized business documents like contracts and patents. There are also translators available who specialize in the legal, migration, and medical fields. The purpose of translators is to overcome language barriers so those who don’t share the same language can still effectively communicate.
3. Finding a useful translation service
Not all translation services are the same. Some prefer to specialize in certain areas while some do more general translations. Any organization, individual, or business should choose a translation service that has specialist translators who know their industry. When the right translation services have been found then all the documents that require people from different countries who speak different languages to read should be translated into appropriate languages. Anyone who is serious about getting key documents translated should never use free online translators as they only know how to translate individual words into different languages. Good translators know how to translate the idioms and cultural nuances of a language. This sort of knowledge can only be obtained by a competent human translator.
4. Hiring interpreters to bridge the language gap
The effects of language barriers in communication in a medical or legal setting could be serious. The easiest solution to this is to hire interpreters in the language’s key to the industry. Some interpreters work in face-to-face encounters while others will use a telephone or video conferencing link. This is one of the simplest ways to overcome language barriers to communication. A good interpreter should be made use of to ensure that no information or instruction is missed due because of a persistent language barrier.
5. Overcome language barriers by providing language classes to employees
If a company has many employees who don’t speak the language used in the business that well it’s always a good idea to put on classes for employees emphasizing the technical jargon the company uses on a regular basis. Anyone who works in sales, for example, needs to be able to understand the facts about the product they’re involved in selling. Once the workforce becomes more competent they will get on far better in the company environment by overcoming language barriers to communication. It also opens up a whole new world for them.
6. Using visual communication to help overcome language barriers
In any environment where communication appears to be an issue words aren’t always the solution. Sometimes it’s better to use more visual methods to communicate like pictures or diagrams. This quickly gets those who lack understanding on track.
7. Repeat more than once
When it comes to communicating instructions where language barriers exist repeating words and sentences helps others to remember what’s been said.
Breaking the language barrier isn’t always simple but there are various ways that the effects of language barriers in communication can be minimized and the best way to start is breaking the language barriers with translation. You should never let language barriers prevent you from doing anything. Globalization is at the moment here to stay so it should be embraced by taking on the language barriers by finding solutions that suit the environment where the language barriers exist. First and foremost, though, translation opens the key to the language barrier door so should always be considered first before any other language barrier solution is used.