What differences are there between spoken and written language?

Expert Answers
wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is often a vast difference in the grammatical and cultural rules for speaking and writing in any given language.  In English for instance, we tend to speak far more casually than we write.  Certain slang and contractions might be acceptable when a person is speaking and yet unacceptable when written on paper.  There is also a difference in how words sound when they are said and how they are written.  One example can be found in homophones.  These are words that we pronounce exactly the same but are spelled differently such as pin and pen.  An example of a grammatical difference might be the use of pauses and commas.  When we speak, we don't always pause in the same place we would put a comma in our writing.  Technically, we should pause at a comma when we are reading, but again this isn't always the case.  With the popularity of texting and other technologies, written language has suffered grammatically in other ways.  The spoken sentence "on my way" has become "omw" and the word "you" is often written "u".  While such shortened phrases, misspelling, and acronyms are technically grammatically incorrect, they do highlight a key point in the difference between speaking and writing.  One does not often say "lol" but rather something along the lines of "that was funny".  In any language, there will be differences between the spoken language and the written language.

sid-sarfraz | Student

Language is the group of words or sentences formed in order to communicate to each other, our thoughts, ideas, feelings etc. Basically it is the way through people can communicate. The type of our language mainly depends on our culture.

Language is categorized into:-

  1. Spoken language
  2. Written language

"Spoken words are the symbols of mental experience, and written words are the symbol of spoken words."

                                                    Aristotle - On Interpretation

Spoken and written language differ in the following ways:-

  • Major difference

Spoken language is spoken and heard.

Where as, 

Writing language is written and read.

  • Aspects

Spoken language is interactive which is not planned and unorganized.

Where as,

Written language is transactional which is planned and in organized form.

  • Nature

Spoken language nature is temporary that can be easily forgotten when not recorded. 

Where as, 

Written language is already recorded, organized and permanent in nature.

  • Correction

Spoken language can not be corrected unless recorded.

Where as, 

Written language can be corrected if editing is possible.

  • Punctuation

In spoken language punctuation is not necessary.

Where as,

In written language punctuation is given importance or else meaning can be changed automatically.

  • Feedback

Spoken language needs on the spot reply when two people are talking or discussing.

Where as,

In written language it is not necessary that the reply must be given swiftly or on the spot.

  • Emotions

Through Spoken language emotions can be shown.

Where as, 

In written language emotions cannot be shown in writing.

  • Structure

Spoken Language: Here and Now

Written language: Premeditated (thought) talking

ruthmary | Student

Speaking and writing has a vast difference..if u can write it doesnt means u can speak but if u can speak its sure for you to write.sometimes it happens that we can write something very fluently but same thing we cannot speak properly.. SO,we should speak before we write.......