About communication and miscommunication

We all know how difficult it is to communicate with a foreigner who doesn't speak our language. And thus for some time already there is an effort on behalf of international organizations and governments to find a solution to it by encouraging people to learn English. But I doubt that speaking the same language ( e.g. English ) is going to be the solution for all the miscommunication problems.

And do you know why ?

Because of the mind and the ego... yes... that is the fact. We can learn English but in the process of learning it people will create their own definitions of certain words within their mind. Apart from the technical definitions of specific words people will also attach certain negative or positive meaning to the words which will be part of their personal definition of a word. And thus all of these elements which are not really seen on the outside but are created within the mind will affect how this person will communicate with others.

What are the consequences of it ?

I guess there is no need for me to write a lot about it because I am certain that you have experienced it on multiple occasions when you have got pissed off with somebody or vice versa because you thought that that other person has insulted you with his words, or told you some lies, accused you of something etc. You may say something that is completely innocent and neutral to you but the other person may interpret is as a direct insult or attack on him. And people have a tendency to not clarify the meaning of the conversation but instead they make decisions based on the emotions which rise from this misinterpretation or miscommunication which creates all sorts of unnecessary consequences ( including big wars between countries ).

What is the solution ?

First of all we should not take things personally and not act immediately. If you are not certain what the other person said or meant, it is better to ask for clarification before acting on something which is not clear. On the global scale humanity must put effort to create and define as clearly as possible one language. It can be English but it should be more specific. Apart from this there should be an effort to teach people ( starting with children ) proper communication. I know that this will require a big effort but this is a long term investment which will benefit all.

At the moment it is going to be rather difficult to implement it and it will require time. The first effort in that direction is being made by Desteni Group which is putting a lot of effort into creating and redefining English into language of equality. At the moment this effort is almost unnoticed by general public but certainly with the time it will bring its fruits.

To be continued...



Published: 2012 - Sep - 12      © Copyright 2012 - Greg Wiater