Skip to Content


Overcoming Language Barriers

Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Author: Business Consultants, Inc.

Overcoming Language Barriers

As far as the language bring people closer to each other, it can also separate people and obstacles their communication while they are not aware of that, especially if they are in a diversified workplace, from different backgrounds, talking different languages, thinking differently, and are asked to achieve challenging targets together that require mutual supports.

To overcome language barriers in the workplace, there are a few things you can do:1

  • Translate all relevant documents into the primary language of your employees. However, you have to be careful since the translation is not always in the exact same dialect as that of your employees
  • Use an interpreter whenever you give instructions or provide feedback to your employees
  • Use visual methods of communication more than audio. Show more than you tell. Explain it with pictures as much as possible
  • Use repetition. As with any new concept, most people don't learn something the first time they hear it. Employees need to hear the same message over and over before they fully grasp it
  • Never raise your voice or over-enunciate your words. Talk slower, not louder. Speak clearly, not forcefully
  • Don't speak "Pidgin Language." Speak correct Language the correct way, just more clearly. People cannot learn the language right if you don't speak it right
  • Use simpler, more common words that convey your message in simpler terms
  • If you want to communicate effectively and build rapport with your employees, you should consider learning a few words and phrases in their languages
  • Have the employee demonstrate their understanding. Don't assume the employee understands; check for understanding

1Chris Smith, accessed 15th January 2021,


For more about this topic, download our latest book "Cultural and Language Barriers of Communication in the Workplace" for FREE:

E-Book: Cultural and Language Barriers of Communication in the Workplace

Theme picker

Back to top