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Overcoming Language Barriers at Work Assignment Sample

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Discuss How Language Barriers Can Affect Communication In The Workplace And How Can This Challenge Be Addressed

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The overall success of a workplace is dependent on the efficiency of the employees in communicating with each other. Lack of communication often leads to generate confusion among employees and therefore results in failure to meet overall business goals. In current times, different language barriers are found in most workplaces, which creates difficulties in workplace communication. This study focuses on all these language barriers and the methods with which these challenges can be addressed properly.

Types of language barriers

In all three types of communication, such as verbal, non-verbal and written communication different types of barriers are found. All barriers include misinterpretation, misunderstanding and most importantly lack of clarity in speech and thought among employees.

  1. a) Differences in languages: At the time of communication, the sender and the receiver of information are often found proficient in different languages. This difference often leads to a whole breakdown in communication. A common language that is understandable for both of the communicators can be used while communicating to mitigate this issue.
  2. b) Regional differences in using languages: At certain times, differences are found in the same language because of the differences in regional places. Pronunciation of a word varies because of different areas (Ali and Watson, 2018). The local government to handle such confusion often introduces a standard version of any particular language.
  3. c) Different vocabulary and spelling: A word may provide different meanings in different places. Changes in spelling often create difficulties for the employees to understand what the instruction is all about.
  4. d) Difference in accents: Changes in the places lead people to pronounce a word differently. This causes people to understand the instruction, not in an easy way. The usage of vernacular language with different accents often creates difficulties for the employees to communicate with each other proficiently.
  5. e) Semantic barrier: The main reason behind the generation of semantic language barriers is the usage of words based on individual professions. As the professional field changes, the meaning of a word also changes (Oswald et al. 2019). An example of the same is the meaning of ‘copy’ is different for a student from a Xerox shop-owner.

All these language barriers are mostly present in various workplaces that affect overall effective communication among employees.

Reason for emerging language barriers

In current times, most of the leading companies are found to face challenges in communication because of different language barriers. There are some reasons why these barriers are developed and impact directly on the proficiency of the company’s management system. Some of the most important reasons for generating language barriers in the workplace are as follows.

  • An employee may be comfortable communicating in a specific language, which may not be understood by his team members. In that case, a lack of change in proper communication is found.
  • Lack of vocabulary is another reason for creating language barriers.
  • Wrong and improper knowledge regarding any topic creates a sense of non-confidence in an employee (Macias Gil et al. 2020). At that time, proper and fruitful communication is hard to be achieved.
  • Lack of mutual understanding regarding the usage of any language often creates difficulties for employees to face challenges in workplace communication.
  • Differences in the meaning of a single word often create misunderstandings among team members. A successful outcome from any group task is very hard to be achieved in such a situation.

Impacts of language barriers on workplace communication

The linguistic limitations that can become the major reason for misunderstanding, confusion, misinterpretation, and conflict among the employees of an organization are referred to as language barriers. The barrier can be either cultural or natural language that usually creates speech difficulties in the workers. Difficulty in speech occurs due to a reduced ability to understand a language in the workplace.

  • Language barriers may have several impacts on workplace communication and collaboration. This generally leads to miscommunication and misunderstanding among co-workers within the organization.
  • Improper collaboration and communication channels within the organization can decrease the profitability, productivity, and popularity rate of the company (Al Shamsi et al. 2020). 
  • The language barrier can also cause difficulty during collaboration with song diversified groups. This is the main reason for conflict and discrimination in the workplace which affects the work culture gradually. 
  • The issues of language barriers also affect the self-esteem and performance of the employees. This also prevents the managers from feeling valued and respected.
  • The impacts of the language barriers can be evaluated through the implementation of inclusive language where all workers will be valued, respected, and prioritized (De Moissac and Bowen, 2019).
  • Removal of the language barrier can make the work culture happier, resulting in the employee feeling comfortable in showcasing their talents.
  • A barrier in the language of the diversified group also has a positive ipcat as the individuals can gain basic knowledge of the cultural and national language of several states and countries. 
  • Diverse workforce in an organization can help in the enhancement of growth and development of business and helps the company to penetrate new market segments that have different cultures and languages.

Methods of addressing challenges regarding language barriers

Language barriers can be mitigated by following certain methods within organizational management systems. The best strategies to mitigate issues in language barriers are as followed. 

  • Speaking clearly and slowly can help the other person to better understand the thought of a person. As a mode of language is a concerning factor for the language barrier, using different physical terms to present the thought may also help in reducing barriers while communicating. 
  • The communicator needs to ask the listener frequently about clarification so that any kind of confusion in communication can be easily cleared. 
  • The usage of language while communicating needs to be at least understandable for 60 % of the not-so-much-accustomed person (Alahmad et al. 2020). Using a language in which both the communicator are comfortable is beneficial to ensure effective and influential communication. 
  • At the time of communicating, any kind of jargon is to be avoided fully. Any personal language is also to be avoided as well so that no confusion is generated while conversing. 
  • Being specific about the conversation topic can also be helpful for the communicators to be responsive in every possible way and the maximum advantage can only be acquired by that. 
  • Knowing the most comfortable way in which the team members want to communicate can be helpful in this area.
  • The communication topic is to be set at first and then the subject of communication need not be distracted to avoid language barriers. The communicators may be from different regions and therefore it is uncertain that regional barriers can happen (Ali and Watson, 2018). Keeping knowledge of different regional languages can be helpful in mitigating issues in regional language barriers within the workplace.

All these methods are to be followed properly to mitigate challenges in language barriers. The overall efficiency of an organization can be increased by following these methods and strategies.


In conclusion, it can be said that mitigating issues in workplace language barriers are very important, as the overall performance of an organization is dependent on team performance. All the identified types of language barriers possess immense significance in understanding the role of proper communication in a healthy workplace. A well-performing and growing company is found to consider the implementation of the most effective mitigating strategies to handle issues in language barriers. The future development of an organization can only be ensured by considering the mitigation of language barriers and improving the capabilities of employees in communicating more effectively.


  • Al Shamsi, H., Almutairi, A.G., Al Mashrafi, S. and Al Kalbani, T., 2020. Implications of language barriers for healthcare: a systematic review. Oman medical journal, 35(2), p.e122.
  • Annotated bibliography: The barriers in language generally challenge the term of achieving satisfaction rate among patients and caregivers in medical sectors, this generally provides all of them with changes to state their issues to receive high-quality treatments that are safe for the patients. The appropriate communication channel can be built among the caregivers and patients which is very essential in the quality treatment and hospitality business. 
  • Alahmad, B., Kurdi, H., Colonna, K., Gasana, J., Agnew, J. and Fox, M.A., 2020. COVID-19 stressors on migrant workers in Kuwait: cumulative risk considerations. BMJ Global Health, 5(7), p.e002995. 
  • Annotated bibliography: The language barrier highly impacted the working and living conditions of migrant workers during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic across the world. The migrants are often faced several inequality and discrimination issues that kept them dominated by the majority group.
  • Ali, P.A. and Watson, R., 2018. Language barriers and their impact on the provision of care to patients with limited English proficiency: Nurses' perspectives. Journal of clinical nursing, 27(5-6), pp.e1152-e1160.
  • Annotated bibliography: In any profession, communication plays an important role. Lack of proper communication can reduce the quality of work and directly impacts the overall success of any particular work. 
  • De Moissac, D. and Bowen, S., 2019. Impact of language barriers on quality of care and patient safety for official language minority Francophones in Canada. Journal of Patient Experience, 6(1), pp.24-32.
  • Annotated bibliography: Language barriers can impact the quality of treatment and safety of patients who are from minority groups. Concordance of Language between the “provider and patients” is vital and effective to ensure the assessment of patients and detect their health problems. 
  • Macias Gil, R., Marcelin, J.R., Zuniga-Blanco, B., Marquez, C., Mathew, T. and Piggott, D.A., 2020. COVID-19 pandemic: disparate health impact on the Hispanic/Latinx population in the United States. The Journal of infectious diseases, 222(10), pp.1592-1595.
  • Annotated bibliography: Proper management of an organizational business requires effective communication among employees. Language barriers often lead employees to face difficulties in understanding the basic requirement and needs of any work. Mitigating these issues is always necessary to tp enhance organizational efficiency.
  • Oswald, D., Wade, F., Sherratt, F. and Smith, S.D., 2019. Communicating health and safety on a multinational construction project: Challenges and. strategies. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 145(4), p.04019017.
  • Annotated bibliography: In most multinational construction projects language barriers are found to generate severe issues. One core area of a healthy business is fruitful and effective communication among employees. This overall affects the efficiency of the company.
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