Issues on Language Barriers

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The chance to learn about another culture is the positive side of language barriers.

Language barriers can cause simple tasks in daily life to be difficult. The enjoyment from small pleasures such as reading and engaging in social interaction can be compromised. Issues from language barriers can occur on a global scale as more businesses relocate abroad, or on a community-based level as a family settles in a neighborhood that speaks another language. Regardless of the setting, issues from language barriers can affect the quality of life for all those involved.


Stunts Academic Growth of Individuals

Language barriers limit the capacity of individuals to learn from their environment due to the lack of comprehension and ability to communicate. The student may not be able to thoroughly understand the teacher, which significantly decreases the ability of the student to absorb the lesson. Consequently the learning process in the classroom is thwarted. If the teacher has to slow down for the student, then the rest of the class will not be adequately challenged.


Stifles Information

Language barriers prevent the free flow of information. Two groups that speak different languages may have a valuable perspective on solving the same issue. However without the capability to communicate the differing ideas, the two groups miss out on new knowledge. It can be difficult for people who speak different languages to learn from each other. During travel it can also weaken the cultural experience. Tourists may not understand the full cultural implications of events, sites and tradition.


Hinders Relationships

The inability to speak in the native language prevents individuals from being able to fully express their personality and form bonds with others. The individual may feel isolated from the rest of the population. Language barriers can foment discrimination and separation of groups. Groups that share the same language may avoid other language groups. Professional growth is also hindered if the individual is not able to communicate with co-workers on a deeper level.



Language barriers can cause intense frustration for all parties involved. A person may feel inadequate, shameful and sad for not being able to understand and share simple ideas. People who are not able to speak the native language may grow frustrated at the missed opportunities, embarrassing mistakes, serious consequences and negative attitudes from others. A person that knows the native language may be frustrated at someone else for not knowing the language. This frustration can manifest in the form of hostility, avoidance or resentment.


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