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We have been studying barriers to communication and we looked into the kinds of barriers to communication.  We discussed Perception as one kind of barrier to communication. Now, we will look into semantic barriers to communication.
In a very simple language, semantic barrier means both the speaker and the listener give different meanings to the same words.  Obviously, in such context, with words wrongly understood by both of them, communication cannot take place. This can happen more in personal communication but not in business communication generally.  For examples, ‘goods yet to receive’ cannot be misunderstood as received; so also, ‘ received’ cannot be misunderstood as ‘not received’.  The traditional use of popular business vocabulary like bills, paid, unpaid,  good received or not received,  need time to dispatch the products,  products dispatched, accounts settled or not settled--- like these phrases cannot be misunderstood.  Moreover, as for business English, business communication is concerned, very clear, unambiguous expressions have been formed and popularized such as ever wishing to continue the same friendly relations,  regret inconvenience,  the issues will be at once addressed, so on. We will talk about it later when we propose to deal with kinds of business communication.
Semantic barriers are very common in personal experiences.  The reason points to one’s attitude to life and his convictions that guide his daily living. Still deeper, it can be seen that conscious and unconscious likes and dislikes too influence the meanings of the words as taken by the listener or by the speaker.  One obvious example can be given taking the most popular words of Christ, just to cite an example. His message has been ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself.’ If only the meaning of the word ‘Love’ has been the same both to the speaker and to the listener, wonders would have taken place; the world would be totally different from what it is today.  Emotional significance attached to the word obviously is not the same.  ‘Desire’ of Buddha and ‘non-violence’ of Gandhi are two other good examples.
Therefore, we can say semantic barriers abound in personal and social lives of the people; but, fortunately, it is not the case with business communication.
We will see some more of barriers to communication in our next session.

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