Fuel for Thought
Communication has evolved over time. People have always found ways to convey their thoughts, intentions or emotions to another person. While languages have changed over time, some fell out of use, some ancient languages are still in use today, and new ones are yet to come. The ancient Language of Tamil is still widely used today, but to someone who only speaks Irish Gaelic, it would be a problem. Many conflicts could be averted simply by finding common ground when it comes to communication. Language barriers are also not a new problem. Many different people speak many different languages and communication can break down from lack of understanding. Aside from a few words in a few other languages, my primary language is English, however today we have more ways to communicate with one another and the language barrier is easily averted.
If you have trouble understanding someone because of heavy accents or strong dialects, consider the alternatives. Today we can communicate in a variety of ways. If you can not understand your customer, dispatch or other professional contact due to language or dialect barriers, try email or text. Both you and the other party will send and receive the information in their chosen language, so there will be no misunderstanding.
Slang is another one that can be misleading at times, but if everything is spelled out in an email or text message, both parties will clearly understand.
As truck drivers, if you have been around the industry for awhile, you know there is also unique terminology to the industry. While not a language, it is a prime example of talking to someone and maybe not understanding.
It used to be common to hear something like “ I'm headed to Bean Town, I got a pair of four wheelers on my donkey, an eighteen on my seven o clock, a bear taking pictures on the shoulder, I can't get the hammer lane and I just want to get to my home 20” . If all that makes sense to you, then you speak trucker language. If not, chances are if this driver were to text or email that to you it would read much different.
Much of the old trucker CB terminology is fading away, but it is not gone.
Communication in any language is key, and if you find that speaking to another business professional and you have trouble with language barriers, consider a written form of contact for better understanding.
See you down the road,