Lost in Translation

By Donna Bonnelle Yancey

What is Communication?



"The process of conveying information so messages are received and understood."


Three Forms of Communication

Verbal Communication-

"A form of communication that involves the use of words."

Some Examples of Verbal Communication include:

  • Speaking to others.
  • Listening to others speak.
  • Beginning a conversation or speaking publicly.

Nonverbal Communication-

"A process of communication that involves sending messages without words."

Some Examples of Non-Verbal Communication include:

  • Your Appearance, which people can quickly judge and develop a first impression.
  • Your Actions, people can receive messages about your character by the things you do.
  • Your Body Language and Personal Space both show others how you may feel, or the thoughts running through your mind. It allows others to infer what you might want to respond, or thoughts on a topic. Personal space allows others to know if you are uncomfortable, or okay with others nearby.


What is Slang?


The Merriam Webster Dictionary definition of Slang is:

"Words that are not considered part of the standard vocabulary of a language and that are used very informally in speech especially by a particular group of people."


Some examples of slang are hater, lip dub, and pwned. They are defined by Arti Patel of The Huffington Post Canada below.

  • "A hater is usually someone who feels anger or jealously towards another because of their success. However, when most teens use it, they just assume they other person is ruining their life on purpose."
  • "No this is not a typo, owned is spelled with a "p" and is pronounced 'owned.' History suggests it originated in an online game called "Warcraft," where a map designer misspelled "owned." (Just look how close "p" and "o" are in your keyboard.) when the computer beat a player, it was supposed to say, "has been owned." Being owned means someone just proved you wrong, but it could also be positive. If you did well on a test, guess what? You pwned that test."
  • "A lip dub may not be as common among all teens, but a lot of lip dubs have been popping up on the Internet. (...) Essentially, a lip dub is a music video done in one take with a variety of people singing along."


Slang Usage

When is slang appropriate?

Well, I know slang is not appropriate in formal situations. You should not use slang around officials, or in business. I believe slang is appropriate in informal environment, or around those you know well. It would probably be best around those who know you well such as friends or even family. It would not be the kind of language you would use in a school presentation, or professional speech, but more likely at a party, or hangout with small groups. Most likely around those who might be around your age, or know what the words mean is a better audience than those who might not.


Two Types of "Messages"

"I" Message:

"(...) This means you take ownership of your own feelings. You state what you feel instead of criticizing the other person."

" "I think you are ignoring me" (...) As you express your feelings, you are taking credit for them."

"You" Message:

"You" messages, (...), come across as accusations."

" "You are ignoring me." places the blame on the other person and may aggravate the situation."


"I" vs. "You" Messages

Which type of message is best and why?

I believe using "I" Messages is a better tactic, because it will lower the probability to start a conflict. You will not irritate, aggravate, or anger the other person as easily, and will spend more time creating a solution for your problem. Putting blame on yourself will make the other person be more open to forgiveness, or empathy to fix the problem. If you were to put the blame on the other person, it will just cause an argument or conflict, where both will continue disagreeing, instead of solving the situation.


8 Tips For Better Communication

Our class book, "Skills for Personal and Family Living", provides tips for better communication.

  • "You must ignore stereotypes and give people the chance to communicate as individuals."


  • Don't be sexist, don't expect a certain gender to communicate in a specific way. Treat each gender as an individual, not a whole group.
  • Encourage open communication. Accept others thoughts and opinions, don't just shoot them down. Try to make others feel comfortable to communicate in an environment with you.
  • Clearly communicate your messages, don't make them confusing, and clarify. Make sure your group understands the message you are trying to send.
  • Don't be prejudice, try to understand others rather than judge them quickly.
  • Try to communicate positively, not negatively. Communication negatively is not the best solution. Try to discuss negative feelings between who's behavior is an issue.
  • Don't make an argument worse, it makes communication more difficult. Keep the argument simple and easy to resolve.
  • In a workplace, there are different ways to communicate as well. Staying on task and avoiding jokes is probably a good idea. You should also show courtesy to others and discuss misunderstandings respectfully with the person involved.
  • In a workplace, you should also use good listening skills, and only use Standard English, which means, no slang or "text talk".

8 Tips To Manage Conflicts

  • Start by bringing up the issue causing a conflict, and begin working to solve it.
  • Each person involved needs to take responsibility for their emotions.
  • "Use "I" Messages", as discussed earlier, these can lower the chance of increasing the conflict further with unwanted emotions.
  • "Use the Conflict Resolution Process", which is a six-step process to help you find a solution to your conflict.
  • Use mediation. Getting outside help, such as a counselor or anyone not tied to the issue can help if a conflict can't be solved on your own.
  • Don't you violence or any other for of negative communication to solve conflicts. It will only cause larger conflicts instead of resolving them.
  • Try to negotiate with those involved to try and create a compromise for the conflict. A conflict that ends with a "win/win" is better than any resolution with any losses.
  • A conflict is not just owned by one if it involves other people. Know why it occurred, After established, clarify any misunderstandings. Then solve the conflict.
^1 Knowing why it occurred.

10 Tips For Netiquette

What is Netiquette?

According to The Merriam Webster Dictionary, Netiquette are the, "Rules about the proper and polite way to communicate with other people when you are using the Internet."


  • "Use proper language."
    -Be sure to correct any spelling mistakes before submitting.
    -Avoid use of slang words.
    -Never type in All Caps
  • "Be precise."
    -Make sure your message not only makes sense to you, but others as well. Just double-check.
  • "Avoid emoticons and "texting" writing."
    -Be Professional, emoticons and "texting" language are not. Used in a more general conversation with friends.
  • "Be explanatory. Justify your opinion."
    -Justify points of view.
    -Make thorough comments brief as possible.
    -Post points more individually rather than in a large amount of text.
    -Avoid sentences with only a few words or statements, make sure they are complete thoughts.
  • "Read all comments before hitting "Submit". "
    -Think about your content before contributing.
    -Read other comments before contributing, to avoid restating topics.
    -Explain your opinion clearly.
  • "Tone down your language."
    -Avoid use of strong words.
    -Try reading your post aloud.
    -Avoid sarcasm and humor.
  • "Recognize and respect diversity."
    -Disagreeing with point of view is okay, but disrespecting or being offensive to others is not.
    -Be open and pay attention to different points of view.
    -Don't fight back if you are a victim to an insulting remark. Report the issue instead.
  • "Control your temper."
    -Don't lose your temper, and take a break, if necessary, to calm down.
    -Don't attack the person who made you angry, and argue your point respectfully instead.
    -Have 'rational' and 'coherent' responses.
  • "Take your posts seriously."
    -Participate, but don't waste others time on useless responses.
    -Feed more wood to the flame of conversation.
    -Don't repeat what someone has already discussed.
    -Stay on topic.
  • "Be credible."
    -Don't mislead others.
    -Admit when you are not 100% sure of your response.
    -Cite your sources when using others property.
For the Birds Animated Short Film
"For the Birds" Video

This video provides examples of both verbal and non-verbal communication. The video is one of Pixar's Short Films. ^5


  1. Parnell, Frances Baynor., and Joyce Honeycutt. Wooten. "Communication Skills."Skills for Personal & Family Living. Tinley Park, IL: Goodheart-Willcox, 2004. 79-105. Print.
  2. "Slang Definition." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.
  3. Patel, Arti. "10 Words Kids Are Saying These Days." The Huffington Post. The Huffington Post Canada, 02 Dec. 2011. Web. 28 Sept. 2015. <http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/12/02/slang-words-teens_n_1113329.html>.
  4. "Netiquette Definition." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2015. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/netiquette>.
  5. "For the Birds Animated Short Film." YouTube. YouTube, 7 Nov. 2013. Web. 28 Sept. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3057osZPdZI>. Pixar Short Clip
  6. "The Executive Corner Blog." The Executive Corner Blog. The Executive Corner, 20 Feb. 2014. Web. 28 Sept. 2015. <http://theexecutivecorner.com/blog/?tag=theexecutivecornerblog>.
  7. "A Perfect World - Clip Art: Communications." A Perfect World. ClipArts.Co, n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.<http://cliparts.co/clipart/2464577>.
  8. "Effective Skills in Non-verbal Communication." Top Quality Articles & Tutorials. PubArticles.com, n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2015. <http://articles.pubarticles.com/effective-skills-in-non-verbal-communication-1272415760,19072.html>.

  9. Pappas, Christopher. "10 Netiquette Tips For Online Discussions - ELearning Industry." ELearning Industry RSS. ELearning Industry, 06 June 2015. Web. 29 Sept. 2015. <http://elearningindustry.com/10-netiquette-tips-online-discussions>.