The Reasons And Challenges That Cause The Language Barrier

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Learning a different language can be a challenging process for all of us. Although this is a challenging process, it is very important to understand people who speak a different language and from a different culture. Even our gestures have different meanings from country to country. When people cannot speak any common language, they have difficulty to understand each other during communication. Misunderstanding and disagreements can arise in such circumstances. These situations are language barriers. Also, we can say that the most common communication barriers which cause incomprehensibleness between people. On the other hand, both lacks of language and our lifestyles or cultural characteristics can create language barriers in many cases. Also, language disabilities resulted from brain-damaged or physical impediments can cause a language barrier. In fact, there are many other reasons that lead to language barriers. In this essay, we are going to observe some of them.

In the first place, cultural differences are one of the most important reasons that cause language barriers. Sometimes we cannot understand each other even we are citizens of the same country due to local differences. With this, it is quite difficult to communicate with people from different countries and cultures. These discrepancies create impediments to an agreement. ( Elega, A.A & Özad, B.E. 2017 ). For example, when you go for a short term education or settle down in a country where you do not speak the language, you can be faced with many problems about communication with others at first. Fortunately, there are many useful tools. The most important tool is cell phones. ( Rahimi & Mirib, 2014 : Steel, 2012 ; Miangah & Nezarat, 2012 ; cited in Elega, A.A & Özad, B.E. 2017 ). In addition, technological resources and materials like laptops, web-based resources and softwares such as Google Translate have helped language learning to acquire the basic literacy skills of another language. (Iacob, 2009 ; cited in Elega, A.A. Özad, B.E. 2017).

As related to this subject, the language problem faced by refugees is one of the language barriers in Turkey. All refugees cannot learn Turkish at first. When they try to live in a country where they do not know the language, many difficulties arise for them. For example, in the field of health, the appointment system makes it difficult for refugees to make an appointment. When they reach the doctor in a kind of way, they cannot tell their complaints properly. Furthermore, it can be seen that a language barrier causes the doctor to misdiagnose the patient. Unfortunately, this is just one example of refugees’ have difficulties in the language barrier.

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On the other hand, body language is one of the most important reasons for the language barrier. We use body language in daily life to communicate with other people through hand and arm gestures. It is at the top of the factors that affect the expression of our feelings towards people as well as make sentences. Mostly, we try to solve the problems of language through body language, when we travel to a foreign country. However, our gestures have different meanings in other countries and cultures. These different meanings cause us to disrespect or misrepresent ourselves to other people without even realizing it. For instance, shaking the head up and down has rejection or no meanings in Turkey. However, this gesture means “yes” in Greece, Bulgaria and Albania.

Also, physical language disabilities cause language barriers. In such a case, even when people interact with parents or peers from similar backgrounds native language, they have difficulty during communication. For example, aphasia is an inability to understand or produce speech resulted from brain-damaged. There are three types of disability: Broca’s Aphasia, Wernica’s Aphasia and Global aphasia. Generally, Aphasia people have not the ability to self-expression. They have difficulty in articulating sounds and words. These people are unaware of the incomprehensibility of what they say for others, as well. In addition to this disability, stuttering, dysphonia or hearing loss can cause language barriers.

To sum up, the language barrier is not limited to a single case. Many reasons cause the language barrier. Speaking different languages to understand other people is very important, and be familiar with different cultures is necessary If we want to overcome difficulties in language. Furthermore, social media plays an important role in daily life, and it can also be used to support language development. (Blatter & Fiori, 2009 ; cited in Elega, A.A. & Özad, B.E. 2017). Thanks to social media, people are closer to every language, culture and other different people. On the other hand, people who experienced physical language disabilities need our tolerances at first. Then, they need medical treatment. It is in our hands to destroy language barriers.

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