According to UNHCR, more than 100 million people have been displaced from their home countries due to local problems such as civil war, food insecurity, and terrorism. To that end, these people have been forced to start from scratch in a new country and build an identity for themselves.

On top of the pressure of moving, these people also face trouble resettling because they tend to have a language barrier. This makes the resettlement process slower and more difficult for them.

Keep reading to learn more about the drawbacks of having a language barrier and how refugees, particularly Somali refugees in Ohio, suffer because of it.

1. Impeded Communication

One of the biggest and perhaps the most obvious drawback of having a language barrier is that it can greatly impede effective communication. A lot of energy goes into encoding and decoding simple messages, and even then, most of the context is lost in translation. In the end, it can lead to hurt feelings, frustration, and even a waste of money and energy.

2. Personal and Professional Misunderstandings

Personal and professional misunderstandings are also very likely to arise in case of a language barrier. For example, if you don’t understand a language, you may misinterpret the words and act according to your own interpretation. This may result in personal and professional issues as you may not be able to deliver what’s asked of you.

3. Lack of Understanding of Local Laws

Since local law is written in the native language, a person who doesn’t understand this language will definitely have trouble understanding the law. To that end, they may not be able to understand what the law requires of them and their legal rights. This results in trouble securing jobs, getting refugee social security, and even finding an appropriate to live in.

How to Help the Somali Community in Ohio?

 Volunteers handing out medicines.

One of the biggest hindrances in the resettlement of Somali Refugees in Columbus, Ohio, is the language barrier. These people had to flee their country and start from scratch, but the settlement process is considerably slow because many don’t speak or understand English.

You can help this community by volunteering your time with us or donating to Somali Community Link. We’re a non-profit organization in Ohio that primarily works to facilitate the rehabilitation and resettlement process of Somali refugees. You can help us by contributing to their education funding, housing needs, employment programs, etc.

Visit our website to volunteer and donate now.

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