Communicating in Different Languages: Dealing with Interpreters and Jargon

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  • 0:03 Communicating in…
  • 0:56 Jargon
  • 2:10 Interpreters
  • 3:02 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
Communicating effectively in different languages as part of a business environment revolves around eliminating jargon and utilizing interpreters for message delivery.

Communicating in Different Languages

In order to communicate with other cultures that speak a different language, it is imperative to have a strategy that includes speaking and writing clearly through minimizing jargon and using translators. In this lesson, you will learn about how to use interpreters to communicate in different languages. In addition, the avoidance of jargon will be discussed in order to promote easier translations and message reception.

Imagine if you started your presentation only to realize that no one in the audience understood anything you were saying. Unfortunately, that happened to Tina at her job visiting overseas clients. Tina is a marketing manager for N&N Chocolates. She wrongly assumed that her audience would all speak English and understand her presentations. Let's take a further examination of the mistakes that Tina made in her overseas presentations.


Tina's first mistake was not eliminating jargon from her presentation. Her first set of presentations were given to English speaking audiences, but their cultural differences led to confusion over jargon, or certain words or expressions used by a specific profession, group or culture.

For example, in England, Tina mentioned that if the offices were able to successfully launch the new candy product in their country, her boss would send warm fuzzies. The English audience wasn't sure if they should be afraid of large fuzzy creatures invading their office or if it was a compliment. In Tina's business world in the U.S., a warm fuzzy from a boss is a compliment and a commendation.

Another example is the wording Tina used of low hanging fruit to describe quick, easy business deals. Her audience thought she was talking about N&N adding fruit as a product line.

Tina can remedy this kind of mistake by avoiding any kind of jargon within a presentation. It is also important to avoid jargon with non-English speaking audiences because an interpreter will have a difficult time translating it into something recognizable.


Tina's second crucial mistake was not using an interpreter, someone who translates from one language to another, for her speeches. She should have invested the time to find a highly reputable interpreter who could translate her presentation into the correct language of the audience while she was speaking. An interpreter needs a basic command of both languages being interpreted and to be able to translate at a workable pace.

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