Thursday, 9 August 2012


All communications should be such that the receiver receives the same message which the sender wants him to receive, irrespective of the language, mode of communication, voice, print or electronic media. Many of the gaps in verbal communications are due to the person (receiver) not being attentive, ignorant, inability to comprehend, not having hearing ability,  and/or due to wrong pronunciation or differences in pronunciation from region to region & tone of the sender. Havoc can sometimes be caused due to some mistakes in this field. I have had several occasions where I have either been the cause or the victim. I had some working knowledge of German language when I visited Germany. At one point of time, I was on the dining table and I wanted lemon. I knew its German equivalent Zitrone, but there was an error in my pronunciation. I called it saitrone, while it should be called sitrone.  The waitress did not understand me and I had to get help from some other person to explain it to her. Once I was trying to buy a train ticket in Germany for a suburban train. The issuing clerk verbally asked me to pay an amount which pronunciation, I did not understand. Hence I requested him to write on a piece of paper by saying in German “Schreiben Sie Bitte”  He did not appear to be pleased by my request, but nevertheless he wrote the amount on a piece of paper, after which I paid the amount and got the ticket. During one of the visits to USA, we had reached Chicago airport, on our way to Boston, but we were a little late in arriving at the airport, so I was a little tense. Then at the counter, the official asked a question to me, which I could not understand. It added to my tension. Then it dawned on me that he must have asked about the package. So I listened carefully to his words again and replied yes, myself, since his question was “Did you pack it yourself”. But this small matter caused tension, discomfort and embarrassment to us. During my school dictation test, the teacher pronounced Prime Minister as Pri Minister, with the result it caused the only mistake in the paragraph, I wrote at that time.  In English language there are several difficulties of different pronunciations. There are some alphabets which are silent like p in pneumonia and psoriasis. Some words have different pronunciations even though the words are spelt same way e.g. to and go, how and bow. Cut, but, gut, nut and rut are pronounced same way, but not put. Cat, rat, fat, mat, sat, bat, hat, pat, tat, vat are spoken same way but not eat. Honey and money are spoken same way but not donkey and monkey. Some words have different alphabets but are spoken same way e.g. to, too and two, be and bee, by and bye, sea & see, seen & scene, road & rode, write & right, hair & hare, year & ear, pink & mink, rope & soap, wave, nave & rave, ware & weir. The words like cane, mane, bane, gain, main, pain, rain and vain are pronounced similarly, even with different spellings.  Mistakes in spellings also play a major role in causing gaps in communication. Sometimes we are in deep thinking mode on a particular object, event or person and if somebody communicates to us at that time we are unable to switch over immediately. We continue to be in the earlier frequency/world for some time. We may understand or interpret the communication received by us at that time incorrectly or in a distorted way. Also it takes some time for us to delink/detach ourselves from the topics of our earlier thoughts when suddenly we get engaged in other thing like reading a newspaper, magazine, book or report, and thus what we read gets affected by our earlier thoughts. The words may be read by us as something and perceived in our mind as something else.

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