If there is an indispensable part of daily life, its communication. Effective communication happens when the other person grasps the full meaning of what you tried to convey and respond in return. But do you find yourself going astray with your communication? If yes, it is more likely to happen when you deal with a language that you are least familiar with.
Language barriers arise in such cases when two speakers belong to different language backgrounds or dialects. Such barriers may result in less or no communication at all. It can be a real challenge to erase these barriers, be it in the workplace or an ordinary setting.
Well, we are here to share 10 methods to overcome these language barriers that may stand in the way of effective communication.
Sort your Study Material
The very first step is to create separate folders/notes for each aspect of the language- grammar, spelling and vocabulary. This makes your learning process hassle-free. You can write down each new item you learn in the respective part of your notebook.
Getting personalised training from an instructor is one of the best ways to improve your language skills. No online learning apps can do what a real person can do to train you. English language training courses are a lot flexible. You can search for a program online or get individually trained in real-time. These programs might work with a set course curriculum or may be scheduled as per your convenience. It’s up to you to decide on what’s right for you based on your pace of learning.
Use Translator Apps
Online translation apps are one of the most helpful tools to overcome language learning barriers. These simple to use translator apps lets you speak using your microphone and produce a translation of the words spoken. Some apps like Worlds Lens by Google Translate have adopted advanced features. It allows your phone camera to scan a section of text and translate it into English. There are several other apps like Waygo, the Pilot and TripLingo that are a quick fix to your language issues.
Read Translated Books
Think of the last time you failed to make out the meaning of a given English sentence. Felt frustrated? Then let me tell you that reading is an excellent way to strengthen your vocabulary and get used to all types of sentences. For a language learner like yourself reading a translated work from your native language can be beneficial. It becomes easier to follow the meaning of the content in English when you’ve already read it in your own language.
But before you pick a book to read, ensure that the language matches your level of reading of the target language.
Rely on Social Media
The easiest door to real-world English is resorting to social media. Follow social media accounts that give you quality content and help you learn in an interesting way. An even more fun way to learn English is by watching videos on Youtube which are either targeted on language learners or regular audiences.
No matter which platform you choose, make it a point to note down new words and usages. Get a good grasp of these expressions by revising it regularly.
After you are done with the above steps, below are strategies to apply all that you’ve learned to real-world scenarios.
Think in English
It’s typical for a non-native speaker to form thoughts in their own language and translate it into English. But have you ever tried thinking of switching your monologues to English? It’s not easy but it’s surely worth a try. Try describing little things around you in English or form conversations in your mind. Since you are speaking to yourself and not aloud you do not feel embarrassed by the mistakes you tend to make.
Use Simple language
Train yourself to use simple and plain language in daily conversation. Trying to use complex-sounding words will not make you appear smarter and intelligent. It will only make things difficult on both ends. If you do not want a blank stare in return from the person you are speaking to, then incorporate simple words in your speech. Miscommunication will not occur if you explain things in a straightforward manner and use phrases and words that others also understand.
Speak at a Slow Pace with Clarity
If you are not confident in speaking another language then speak slowly with clarity. You might have the right word in your head but will end up pronouncing it wrong. When you speak slowly your listener can locate the words easily and follow your message even if there are slight errors. If the person you are speaking to is a native English speaker, they recognize you as a beginner and accept your mistake.
Grab every opportunity to speak
Do you feel hesitant to speak in a new language? But there is no better way out of it. The more you speak the better you improve. You might stumble, you might make mistakes but it’s not a big deal. Try giving your best at every casual conversation. This gives you a fair idea about how much you’ve learned and how much you need to improve.
Use Non-Verbal Communication Techniques
When you try hard to get your message across, there might be instances where you run short of words, or simply get stuck. In such a situation there is no harm using gestures to get your way through the conversation.
Gestures can be effectively made use to illustrate, emphasize or simply communicate a point. For example, you could tap on your wristwatch to indicate that the time is running out or motion at a chair indicating to sit down. Even when gestures can support your verbal communication, do not let it confuse your recipients. Any non-verbal sign should resemble what you would otherwise convey through words.
Learning a new language is an exciting experience altogether. In this process do not let language barriers stop you from making the most of it. Remember to create an environment around you that increases your familiarity with the language. All it takes is effort, time and exposure to go ahead with your language learning.