Communication issues and the presence of language barriers in today's society and how to improve the quality of life for certain groups of people.

In an increasingly interconnected world, effective communication is paramount to personal and professional success. However, for many people, language barriers significantly challenge their communication and collaboration ability. Moreover, with increased global migration and travel opportunities, society has become more multilingual, creating a rich mix of cultures and increasing the likelihood of misunderstandings. Everyone deserves the opportunity to express themselves freely and communicate with others seamlessly.

Language barriers often prevent full communication and lead to misunderstandings in the workplace, family, or social relationships. In addition, people with cognitive disorders such as dyslexia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) face additional difficulties in processing and communicating information, adding to the difficulty of communication. Our paper examines the multifaceted challenges of communication barriers, focusing on individuals with cognitive disabilities, children from linguistically diverse families, and immigrants. The paper emphasizes the critical intersection of language proficiency, cognitive diversity, and immigration status that exacerbates communication difficulties.

Understanding the problem

A detailed study of the problem of language barriers, their impact on personal and professional relationships, and their prevalence in different settings and domains. 


In addressing the multifaceted issue of language barriers, we take an in-depth look at the myriad ways these barriers manifest themselves in different spheres of life, significantly impacting personal connections, professional collaborations, and the broader social fabric. Language barriers don't just prevent verbal exchange; they create deep gaps in understanding, empathy, and the ability to share and innovate across cultures and communities. In professional settings, these barriers can lead to misinterpretation, lost productivity, and missed opportunities as individuals and teams try to navigate multilingual environments.

Similarly, on a personal level, language barriers can weaken family and friendship ties, limiting the depth of relationships and the sharing of cultural and emotional nuances. Such barriers are widespread and affect various fields of endeavor, including health care, education, technology, and international business, where clear and effective communication is paramount.

In addition to the difficulties associated with language barriers, it is necessary to consider the additional challenges faced by people with cognitive disorders such as dyslexia and ADHD. These disorders create barriers to communication, exacerbating the difficulties associated with language barriers and significantly impacting the quality of life of those affected. Dyslexia, characterized by problems in reading, writing, and spelling, affects approximately 5-10% of the population, with varying degrees of severity.

The Home Language Factor

In the realm of linguistic diversity among children, bilingualism is deeply problematic. For example, in the United States, 26% of children aged 5-17 years nationwide and 44% in California are bilingual (Kids Count Data Center, 2018); in Texas, 49% of children aged 0-8 years are bilingual (Park, O'Toole & Katsiaficas, 2017), indicating a significant presence of bilingual or multilingual families.  

Here,  we  want to present a chart of the most common languages spoken at home in the United States. The data were taken from:"The Case for Measuring and Reporting Bilingualism in Developmental Research," "Migration Policy Institute, National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy."

This linguistic diversity can be challenging, especially if one language is less supported in the child's social and educational environment. This can lead to a phenomenon known as "language dominance," where a child becomes more competent in one language at the expense of the other.

Academic Difficulties: Bilingual children may initially find it challenging to learn in an educational environment where a language other than the one spoken at home is taught. This can affect their reading and writing skills, comprehension, and overall academic performance until they reach school language proficiency.

This section will draw on statistical data to provide a comprehensive picture of the problem of language barriers, illustrating not only its breadth but also the depth of its impact on individual lives and collective societal progress.

Statistical data and real-life examples illustrate the significance of the problem.

1. The impact of cognitive impairment on communication and task performance.

Prevalence rates:

This pie chart illustrates the prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among adults: 31.8% of the surveyed population has been diagnosed with ADHD. In comparison, the remaining 68.2% do not suffer from the disorder. Data are from the study: "Prevalence and correlates of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in obsessive-compulsive disorder patients."

The findings indicate that a significant proportion of the adult population suffers from ADHD, a disorder that can significantly affect various aspects of life, especially in the professional sphere.

Adults with ADHD may have difficulty with concentration, organizational skills, time management, and maintaining focus on tasks, which can affect work processes and task completion. In the workplace, this can manifest as problems with completing projects on time, maintaining productivity, managing complex tasks, and interpersonal communication.

The presence of ADHD in such a large segment of the adult population underscores the importance of understanding and addressing this condition in professional settings to improve productivity, support employee well-being, and capitalize on the unique benefits that people with ADHD can bring to the workforce.

Next we look at what dyslexia is and how it affects people's lives.

Dyslexia is a specific learning disorder characterized by difficulties in accurate and/or fluent word recognition and poor spelling and decoding ability.Globally, Dyslexia International (2017) suggests that between 5 and 10% of the population has dyslexia, which is about 700 million people worldwide.

According to the International Dyslexia Association (IDA), some 17-23% of the world's total population currently have some symptoms of dyslexia and related difficulties.

United States of America

In America, more than 40 million  American adults now have dyslexia and related learning difficulties. Only 2 million are aware of it.

Europe

According to an article by The European Dyslexia Association, dyslexia occurs in 9-12% of the population worldwide, regardless of language, culture, standard of living, or other factors.

The British Dyslexia Association states that around 7.3 million Britons have dyslexia and related learning difficulties, representing around 10% of the UK population.

For this population, the Association makes the following observations:
20-40% of people with dyslexia have dyscalculia;
20-55% of people with language impairment have dyslexia;
10-20% of people with dyslexia have an anxiety disorder;
2-14% of people with dyslexia suffer from depression;
8-18% of people with dyslexia have attention deficit and/or hyperactivity disorder.

What is Dyslexia, and what facts should people know about this condition?

In America, dyslexia affects about 15-20% of the population to some degree, making it one of the most common learning disabilities. These statistics emphasize the importance of early diagnosis and intervention, as individualized support and instructional strategies can significantly improve outcomes.

Analytical data shows that dyslexia is responsible for approximately 80-90% of all learning disability diagnoses in the United States. Despite its prevalence, awareness and understanding of dyslexia varies greatly.

Many adults with dyslexia may have remained undiagnosed throughout their schooling, leading to problems in education and employment. Therefore, we see many reasons to improve dyslexia screening and support the stable condition of people with this condition; we can make life easier for these individuals through AI capabilities such as text-to-audio conversion or predictive typing software. Such tools will provide greater independence and success in academic and professional environments for people with dyslexia.

Let's look at the results of a study: “The impact of media on dyslexia in an academic environment”, conducted in the Department of Computer Science at Loughborough University in conjunction with the JISC-funded TechDis service. The study aimed to understand better how computer media can affect the academic performance of students with dyslexia. Experiments were conducted to determine the impact of combinations of computer media on dyslexic students compared to non-dyslexics and to disseminate the findings to higher and further education institutions through TechDis.

The outcomes of the project were to provide evidence showing:

1. The impact of different combinations of media on students with dyslexia.
2. Whether different combinations of media affect dyslexic learners differently from non-dyslexic learners.
3. Whether different combinations of media affect students with dyslexia with varying styles of learning.
4. Whether different combinations of media affect students with dyslexia who have various cognitive skills.
5. Whether the use of a one-size-fits-all approach by multimedia learning providers is justified.

A small number of dyslexic students participated in the original study. Figure 1 shows the mean scores obtained by dyslexics and nondyslexics for each type of media combination in the four experiments.

The results show that when learning materials are presented as computer presentations, the most practical combination of media for non-dyslexics is a combination of sound and diagrams. However, no apparent effective combination of media was found for dyslexic people. Our results suggest that different combinations of computer media affect dyslexic learners differently than non-dyslexic learners. This was expected as the instructional materials used consisted of verbal and non-verbal components.

These results suggest that information presented through text and diagrams, which is most useful for non-dyslexic learners, may not be the most effective way of presenting information for dyslexic learners. In the same way we see that the most comfortable form of information perception for dyslexics is sound and infographics.

People with dyslexia often find it easier to absorb information through auditory or visual media such as infographics or audio files, as these methods avoid some of the problems associated with traditional text-based learning. For example, audio listening allows dyslexics to engage with content without having to decode written words, which reduces the cognitive load associated with reading.  Similarly, infographics present information in a visually appealing and structured format, using symbols, diagrams, and images to communicate concepts and data.

Real-world examples support the effectiveness of these approaches. Research has shown that students with dyslexia can increase comprehension by 76% when using auditory teaching methods compared to traditional reading. In addition, using visual aids, including infographics, promotes better recall of information. Often, students with dyslexia show a 65% improvement in their ability to memorize a task when using audio materials compared to textual descriptions. These findings highlight the critical role that auditory and visual learning strategies play in supporting people with dyslexia and emphasize the need for inclusive educational practices that accommodate different learning preferences.

Solving the problem of perceiving information in different languages and contexts.

Our solution is to reduce language barriers in society and reduce the problems of information perception in various spheres of life: work, study, and home.

Voiset is a task management solution designed to eliminate language barriers and significantly alleviate the challenges faced by people with cognitive disabilities. By integrating AI with voice recognition and speech translation in 33 languages. Our system allows users to manage tasks and communicate in their preferred language, effectively bridging the gap in language and cognitive accessibility.

For example, users with dyslexia who have difficulty reading and writing can easily enter commands and receive information verbally, bypassing the problems associated with text-based interfaces.

Similarly, people with ADHD, who often find it challenging to organize tasks and maintain focus, can benefit from intuitive voice reminders and scheduling features that help streamline their daily routine without overwhelming them with complex visual charts.

An explanation of the key features of the system, including automatic translation and creating tasks using voice.

We develop a user-friendly task management tool that allows users to interact with the application in their native language. Task details can be easily dictated and automatically converted into text in the desired language while preserving the original message. This functionality makes Voiset an excellent solution for multilingual teams, facilitating communication and collaboration between users from different countries. For example, a task formulated in English can be instantly translated into Spanish, facilitating team communication and coordination, eliminating language barriers, and promoting more efficient work.

A practical application of our solution can be used in multicultural families whose members may speak different languages or have various levels of proficiency in the dominant language of the family. Let's imagine a scenario in which parents who speak predominantly Spanish at home want to communicate a grocery list to their children who are more proficient in English. Using Voiset, the parents can dictate the grocery list in Spanish, and the app will translate and transmit it to the children in English. As in this scenario, the child can listen to the original message. This ensures that the message is accurately received and fosters a sense of responsibility and engagement among family members, regardless of their language background.

In Europe, where many diverse language groups are concentrated, multilingual communication is becoming both an opportunity and an obstacle for business. Problems arising from language barriers often lead to stress and misunderstandings in international and multicultural work teams. This not only makes it difficult for employees from other linguistic contexts to adapt but can also cause them to leave due to their inability to fit in. Such situations emphasize the need to create an inclusive work environment where every team member feels understood and valued. In addition, the diversity of languages and relatively low levels of English proficiency in some regions limit businesses' desire to go global. Many companies face a dilemma: on the one hand, there is the potential for international expansion, but on the other hand, there are barriers associated with the need to adapt to multiple linguistic and cultural sensitivities. This situation requires companies to understand the multilingual context in which they operate and develop strategies to overcome language barriers effectively for successful international operations.

Goals such as overcoming language barriers in multilingual teams can now be successfully addressed thanks to the artificial intelligence capabilities of systems like Voiset.  

This tool demonstrates how modern technology can simplify and optimize communication, making it accessible and understandable for every employee, regardless of language differences. Implementing such solutions promises to transform work processes, minimize stress, and improve understanding in global and multicultural teams.

Future implications and opportunities

Our company's plans and initiatives are to eliminate language barriers further and support people with different communication needs.

We intend to redefine task management and communication through our ambitious plans and initiatives to further eliminate language barriers and address a wider range of communication needs.

We plan to incorporate sophisticated contextual analysis and predictive analytics into product development. These enhancements will enable the application to not only understand the content of tasks, but also to capture the context in which they are set, including estimating deadlines and providing accurate estimates of time to complete tasks.

For example, if a user frequently allocates a certain amount of time to specific tasks, the system will learn these patterns and suggest realistic time frames for similar future tasks, optimizing performance and helping users manage their time more efficiently.

In addition, we are exploring the use of machine learning algorithms to predict how much time a person can realistically allocate to a particular task based on their past activity and current workload. This means that the app will tell users how to prioritize tasks, suggest breaks, and even recommend the best time of day for certain types of work based on a person's productivity patterns. Such capabilities will not only improve task management for individuals but will also allow teams and families to coordinate their efforts more effectively by considering each member's unique schedules and preferences.

With these future developments, our team intends to offer a more personalized, intelligent, and inclusive tool that considers the nuanced needs of diverse users, with a focus on understanding the intricacies of human communication and task management.

Conclusion

This is a call to action for all sectors of society to prioritize inclusiveness and accessible communication. By creating an environment where everyone has the tools to express themselves and understand others, we can unlock the full potential of our global community. Let us commit ourselves to overcoming language barriers not only as a means to improve the lives of individuals but also as a strategy to enrich society itself.