First Language, Dialect, Slang and Jargon

There are different types of interpersonal interactions such as: speech, language (first language, dialect, slang, jargon), and non verbal (posture, facial expressions, touch, silence, proximity, reflective listening). The first type of interpersonal interaction is speech, people who are of different ethnic groups, cultures, professions and localities have their own phrases, words and speech patterns because of the different backgrounds and the different uses of language. Service users might get easily confused, feel misunderstood or even feel mistreated with the way they are spoken to simply because they are not used to it.

The second type of interpersonal interaction is language. First language is the language an individual learns to speak when they are born. Working with service users who have different first languages can be difficult as mental translation between languages may be required. For example, if there is a problem with a child in a nursery and their parents do not speak English well or don’t understand it at all, it will be difficult to deliver the information about the problem with the child. To help overcome this, a translator will be needed so they can help the parents understand what the problem is.

Healthcare professionals tend to use jargons; words that are used by a particular profession or group that are hard for others to understand. An example of a jargon being used in a health care setting would be in a hospital, a doctor could be explaining to a patient the problems they have with a part of their body, for example their knee cap and the patient may not understand that due to the doctor using technical term such as ‘patella’ instead of the simpler word ‘knee cap’. Those who are from a different geographical area will use different words and pronounce words differently; this is often referred to as using a different dialect.

Dialect is known as, words and their pronunciation which is specific to a geographical community, for example people who live in the north west of England will use a different dialect to those who live in London. An example of different dialects being used in a health and social care setting are early years settings, the pronunciation of ‘bath’ can be different when people are from different geographical areas.

People, especially youths are more likely to use slang, informal words and phrases that are not usually found in standard dictionaries but which are used within special social groups and communities. Examples of slang are “bare”, “allow it” and “yo”, these words tend to be exchanged between friends. In health and social care settings, it is highly unlikely that slang will be exchanged between ant of the professionals however setting which have young people, for example sexual health clinics, may have the exchanges of slang sometimes between the professional and patient, the patient may be used to say such words so it can easily slip out without the patient realising what they are saying.

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