How to Overcome Language Barriers?

How to Overcome Language Barriers?

Nowadays, you can often come across such a thing as a “language barrier” and, probably, each of us have faced this problem at least once in their life.  In this article, we’ll talk to you about how to overcome a language barrier and start to communicate in a foreign language.

What is a language barrier?

A language barrier is difficulties that arise when communicating with people who are native speakers of other languages. Language barrier is a rather interesting phenomenon. You have been learning the language for several years, you know more than a thousand words, you know grammatical structures, you can write essays and translate texts well, although communication with native speakers causes great difficulties.

What is a language barrier?

Beginners, people who have just started learning a language, most frequently face communication problems. Some people believe that they will be able to get rid of fear with time, but it does not happen this way. Sometimes, people who can speak the language at a high level also encounter the problem of language barrier, while there are people who only take a few language lessons, and they feel confident enough when talking to other people.

It happens because there are two types of the language barrier:

Linguistic barrier

This type of language barrier appears because people don’t know enough words and grammar to express their thoughts. In order to overcome this type of barrier you should work really hard: continue to study, learn new words, do grammar exercises, try to speak a foreign language and read book in it.

It happens because there are two types of the language barrier

Psychological barrier

It’s much harder to overcome psychological barrier. The main reason is the fear of making mistakes, not being able to understand your interlocutor, or seem stupid and not educated.  At this point, there is a fear of the unknown, which is caused by a lack of self-confidence and doubt about your knowledge.

How to overcome language barrier after all?

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes

Your interlocutors aren’t going to check how well you can speak a foreign language; they are just interested in talking to you.  Most people are positive towards foreigners who learn their native language, so they understand how difficult it is for you and will try to help you.

Don't be afraid of making mistakes

Learn new words saying them aloud

When you start learning new words, learn them aloud carefully articulating each word. It is also a good idea to think of an example for each word and use it in a context, so you can see how well you can use the word.  If you still find it difficult, learn short dialogues. Human memory is based on associations, therefore the phrases from dialogues you have learned will pop up from your memory, and you will find it easier to express your ideas.

Don’t also forget that it is more than enough to have about 800 words in your lexicon in order to comfortably communicate. If you cannot remember a word, choose synonyms, replace complex concepts with simple examples. Native speakers sometimes also lack words to express their thoughts.

Ask your interlocutor to speak more slowly

If you are afraid of not being able to understand your interlocutor, ask them to talk to you more slowly, and ask them again if you missed something. Think about that if you do not explain to your interlocutor that you do not understand them, they will not be able to guess about it and will not be able to help you.

Set the goal

Set the goal

In order to overcome the language barrier, set small communication goals and try to achieve them. For example, if you decide to go to a store abroad to buy something, focus on the task itself, and not on how you perform. If you feel that you do not have enough words to explain to the seller what you want, start using gestures. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes or stumble as your main goal is to make a purchase.

Always practice your language skills

It’s the practice that matters. It helps you to be a success. Choose the activity which you’ll like.  Watch movies, programs, listen to music in a foreign language, but remember that you may forget everything if you don’t practice.

Always practice your language skills