What are some tips for resloving language barriers over the phone? Language barriers http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp058316



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coachingcorner's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #1)

There are barriers to effective language use and communication - especially over the phone. There are a few different classes of individual who may experience challenges in this area. One group of people are obviously people who do not have English,for example, as their native language. These people, such aas young learners in school or recently arrived immigrants trying to equip themselves for work. Language is more difficult over the phone as the speakers cannot see each other and there may be additional difficulties such as a bad or crackly line, or awareness that time is short. 

These issues also apply to other groups such as those who are hard of hearing, coping with learning challenges or experiencing problems with mental health and well-being.

It is important for professionals to be clear, distinct and patient in getting their message across and to be prepared to suggest a face to face meeting where possible.

selmasharafaz's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #2)

Language barrier is a big communication problem. When two individuals are speaking over the phone and each does not know the language of the other person, the situation is even worse as both are not speaking face to face where actions could help.

Some strategies may be adapted to overcome language barriers over phone.

1. Try to use the language which is easy for both the persons speaking over the phone. If there is no such language, the speaker should try to use more words that he know of the language of the listener.

2. Speaking slowly and clearly can help the second person to grasp things easier.

3. Give clarifications with patience and check for understanding each other's speech.

4. Avoid using idioms or phrases that are known only to a good speaker of the language. Use simple and effective language that is easy to be understood by someone who knows little of the language.

When both the speakers over phone cares to deliver their message in a friendly manner that could help each other, the severity of language barrier could be overcome.

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