What Is Meant By Semantic Barriers?

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Samantha Mitchell Profile
  • Definition
Semantic is a term that literally means the "study of meaning". Words, signs, phrases, and symbols are focused on to determine the relationship of them and what they stand for.

  • Semantic Barrier
A semantic barrier is one where there is difficultly in expressing one's self to another. The term is usually applied to those who are speaking foreign languages. In other words, you may speak English perfectly and can communicate quite well; however, another person understands both English and another language. With a semantic barrier the person may have spoken Spanish as their first language. Though they can understand English, there are still some words that can be difficult. In this situation a person may find it hard to grasp the meaning.

When words sound alike there can also be semantic barriers. For example fair and fare. When a person is speaking words such as these it can make it more difficult to understand the meaning. Most often when one is paying attention in a conversation there are other words around homonyms that make the meaning clearer.
If the person is not paying attention to the conversation and only hears fair it may be confusing or at least provide a barrier to the conversation.

There are plenty of reasons for communication barriers that do not have to deal with different languages or issues with listening. For example, there may be some psychological reasons for semantic barriers. A person suffering from an injury to the brain may have issues with language and therefore have some language barriers. It may make things more difficult for them to understand. This requires a different approach to the conversation so the meaning can be grasped.

Semantic barriers are always going to relate in some way to a conversational barrier in which the meaning of the words, phrases, signs, and symbols are difficult to make out.
Jeremy Brannon Profile
Jeremy Brannon answered
Semantics refers to specific meanings of a word, especially in academic circles. Semantic barriers, therefore, are the misunderstandings that occur by people trying to communicate an idea, but simultaneously having completely different meanings in mind for the words.

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