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Linguistic Limitations for International HR

Given the global nature of our economy today, people travel to different parts of the world for work. While English is definitely the lingua franca of the world, it is not the only language in the corporate world. Out of the several languages dominating the world today, many are used in corporate communication, especially in certain countries. Use of multiple languages in corporate communication is definitely a problem, especially when the individual is in a foreign land. Moreover, given that each language has its own special flavor, which is known locally and not globally, it could create problems in communication.

Common problems with Language

One of the most common problems with language is the dialect, which are different for different regions. Even in the case of the same language, there are incidences where they are spoken differently. For example, English spoken in England could be different from that spoken elsewhere in the world, which could effectively pose a barrier. Additionally, most countries add their own phrases, idioms and metaphors, which are part of their local culture. While this definitely adds flavor to the language, it could lead to problems, largely because meanings of the same word could differ in different parts of the world. Such nuances and differences can cause problems when someone decides to work in a foreign country.

Problems with Conception

Problems of conception are another part of linguistic limitations in foreign countries. One word could have several meanings, even in the same country, which could again lead to problems in communication. For example, tomato paste when translated in Arabic loosely means tomato glue, which means that no one will buy it. However, the same word (also called tomato purée) in the UK refers to a cooking ingredient. This goes on to show how the same word can be conceived differently all around the world. When working abroad, it therefore becomes extremely important for employees to understand the local culture, learn the local language and utilize it in a better sense. Cultural differences could also lead to misconceptions, which could be aggravated by language barriers. In other words, some gestures or mannerisms can mean one thing to the communicator and another to the listener, which could lead to problems in communication.

Ways to resolve Linguistic Limitations and Challenges

Translation is the best way to ensure perfect communication and resolve linguistic limitations; however, this is not foolproof. This is largely because of the differences in language between the communicator and the translator as well as the translator and the ultimate recipient of the communication. This again leads to several interpretations of a single word, which unless clarified, could cause problems. Given the multiple dialects in any given language, it is not surprising that everyone does not understand what is said, even if it is in the language of the listener. Lack of education or training in some areas of the world leads to such communication barriers within the country itself. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure translation is made into the specific dialect of the region before it is communicated.

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Posted: 29/07/2011 02:02:48

Thank you my adding value to my subject notes.

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