Semantic Barriers Assignment Help

Barriers to Effective Communication - Semantic Barriers

Semantic Barriers:

Most difficulties in communication arise since the similar word or symbol signifies different things to various individuals. You may recall how Shiny Abraham was disqualified and lost her gold medal, despite coming first by an extremely wide margin in the 800 m race, at the Asian Games at Seoul (1986). She had crossed the track at the place whereas she should not have done. According to her, she mistook the symbol, i.e., the colour of the flag. In our country, the red flag indicates danger but in South Korea, white flag is used for the similar purpose.

Words, action or a feeling, can have several meanings. For instance, abstract words like merit, effectiveness or responsibility, could be interpreted differently through different persons. Difficulty in understanding might arise even in the case of words that have various contextual meanings in different regions/countries. To provide you an example, a problem arose in interpreting the meaning of the word 'steps'. In a training programme of health workers relating to family health in Jamaica, this question was asked: "What are some of the steps which a mother should take to make sure that her baby remains healthy?" There was no response to this question because the trainees were accustomed to only one meaning of the word 'steps' based on their experience; they just could not make any sense of the question. Semantic difficulty also arises since of unfamiliarity with words, for example, a word of a foreign language or a technical word.

Effective communication

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