Speaking slower or LOUDER when communicating with someone who speaks a different language then you in a nutshell may not work. Thoughts?


Speaking slower or LOUDER when communicating with someone who speaks a different language then you in a nutshell may not work.  Thoughts?  I’ve heard this in dozens of stories.  The ONLY thing that I do know that is identical across ALL languages is laughter and the other emotions.  I love that laughter is universal on earth.  I only wish everyone would do it more.  I don’t even know for sure if I am speaking slow enough for some of you who cannot read this.  HOW ABOUT NOW?  Can you u n d e r s t a n d me when I type S L O W E R?  LOL. L O L.

I listened to a speaker last night describe his journey in a foreign country.  He did not speak the language, yet he traveled to this country in which he could not communicate.  Of course he put himself into a situation where he had to order a meal at a restaurant.  After many many many multiple times trying to communicate his order, the server repeatedly brought out from the kitchen the wrong item(s).  It was then our foreign traveler decided that his past experience with acting out the animal in which he wanted to eat would better communicate his wishes.  Would you believe he won the entertainment award from the applause of his fellow travelers dining at nearby tables?  Would you believe he also finally communicated with the server and finally got what he wanted?  Speaking slower or LOUDER when communicating with someone who speaks a different language then you in a nutshell may not work.  Thoughts?

I have another scenario that I lived through in a similar predicament.  I traveled to a foreign country in which I myself did not know enough of the vocabulary needed to get my point across.  Of course we learn that knowing the right vocabulary does NOT guarantee we will get our point across.  Knowing the language does not guarantee it either.  In my situation, I remember it was 3am and I was meeting a leader who knew 2 languages.   None of the languages was one I understood enough to communicate, speak or understand.  The two languages were Russian and Hebrew.  The game follow the leader played the crucial role in communicating with one another.  I copied him.  He copied me.  We laughed. We communicated.  We got the job done.  The animals on the farm were happy.  We were happy.  Everybody was happy.  One part of that day that was soooooooo funny was trying to communicate with 1 word.   Funny to me?  Funny to both?  Remains unclear if both, but looking back I think it was funny.
My new friend was trying to point to these big boots.  I  wore a old pair of sneakers which I was ok if they became very very dirty.  I proceeded to use the word comfortable, referring to wearing my shoes.  He repeated s l o w l y, and loudly, C O M F O R T A B L E.  I repeated it back acknowledging I heard him.  He said it back again.  5 minutes later, he wanted to make sure I was ok with my shoes, I think.  We played the comfortable game all morning.

Sometimes 1 word is all it takes to communicate.   Sometimes it takes acknowledging you heard what’s being said.  Sometimes let a long pause help clear the air.  Then return to the conversation and check on your chat or conversation.  Did you progress?  Did you get your point across?  Was it enjoyable?  Speaking slower or LOUDER when communicating with someone who speaks a different language then you in a nutshell may not work.  Thoughts?

Like this article?  Visit the author: PaulFinkelstein.com
Public Speaking for a better world: WestBocaToastmasters.org

3 Comments

  1. Always speak in a respectful tone a a little slower but not as if they are “slow thinking” never speak more loudly ~

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