Differences between oral and written language in detail

Spoken or oral language

Language has several types, including spoken, also known as verbal or oral communication. This type of language occurs between two or more people, being transmitted by voice and air, and whose code is the language or the language. Regardless of the context that accompanies the situation, the technique or the moment, a person always has the need and will always communicate, because communication is inevitable. In this article we we make you aware about the difference between oral and written language.

Together with voice and speech, it is the fundamental means of human communication, which allows the person to express and understand cultural signs and symbols. Oral language acquisition is conceived as the development of the ability to communicate verbally and linguistically through conversation in a given situation and with respect to a given context and time space. In its broadest sense, oral language can be described as the ability to understand and use verbal symbols as a form of communication; or it can be defined as a structured system of symbols that catalogs objects, relationships, and events within the framework of a culture. Being the most specific language of communication, it is affirmed that it is a code that everyone who belongs to the linguistic community understands.

Written language

Written language is the use of signs (symbols) to express human ideas. Spelling is a communication technology, created and developed historically by human society, and basically consists of the registration of trademarks on a medium. The tools used for writing and the media in which it is recorded can be, in principle, infinite.

Although traditionally it is conceived that writing has durability, while conversations would be “volatile”, the instruments, accessories, forms of movement, as well as communicative function of the written text, are the key to its durability or not.

As a means of representation, written language is a systematic process of coding graphic signs that allows you to register spoken language with great precision using regularly arranged visual cues; the obvious exception to this rule is Braille writing, the keys of which are tactile.

Characteristics of the spoken language

When we go to a store to buy a gift, we call a friend or greet a neighbor on the street, we are using the oral variant of the language. Oral language is characterized, fundamentally, for being spontaneous, dynamic, and interactive; In other words, the communicative act that takes place has not been previously thought out and is developing at that precise moment. Differences between oral and written language

Another defining element of the oral language is the predominance of a basic vocabulary and, on many occasions, colloquial. When we speak, we use an informal and repetitive vocabulary (fillers and set phrases are very frequent), easy for our interlocutor to understand.

Along the same lines as vocabulary, the most frequent grammar in the oral language is non-standard. Thus, it is more likely to make concordance errors or leave the sentences half-way, since it is a spontaneous dialogue, which is being built at the very moment of the interaction. The use of simple sentences from the syntactic point of view is frequent to the detriment of more complex grammatical constructions with long sentences.

Characteristics of the written language

Instead, when we write a letter to the newspaper, write an academic paper or send an email, we are using the written variant of the language. Written language is characterized because it requires prior planning ; In other words, we first think and decide about what we are going to write and to whom and, from there, we resort to a specific language. For this reason, the written language is orderly, formal and, generally, more neutral .

The recurring lexicon in the written language is a specialized vocabulary , since more technical words are used and appropriate to the subject on which one is writing. Likewise, more synonyms appear in order to prevent the reading of the text from being boring and repetitive and adjectives also abound, which are responsible for describing and detailing as exactly as possible what you want to convey.

It is important to bear in mind that the receiver only has the written text to understand the message and, therefore, it must be written in a clear, orderly and adequate way. For this reason , the grammar is usually more elaborate , with longer and more specific sentences on the subject to be discussed, since it has previously been raised.

Major Differences

Once we have seen the specific elements of both oral and written language, we are now going to focus on the the difference between oral and written language :

Oral language

  • It is formed in the early stages of a child’s development.
  • It occurs reflexively, spontaneously and without a conscious analysis of its sound composition.
  • The structure is the sound.
  • The realization mechanism is less complex.
  • There is an expression complement that simplifies it.
  • When the child speaks he is concerned with the content.

Written language

  • It appears later and is the result of a special teaching
  • Organized and voluntary activity, with conscious analysis of the sound composition of each verbalization.
  • The structure is graphic.
  • The realization mechanism is more complex.
  • It cannot be simplified and to understand the expression it is necessary to detail it.
  • When the child writes, he is concerned about the sound composition of the word.

Other Differences

  • First, the means of transmission varies , as the oral variant uses the ear canal while the written variant does so through a visual channel. Similarly, the first uses phonetically articulated sounds and the second communicates the message through letters.
  • On the other hand, the spontaneity of oral language allows immediate interruptions, reformulations and clarifications, whereas written language does not admit any change once the text has been written and has reached its addressee.
  • In relation to the above, oral language is accompanied by gestures ( non-verbal language ) and changes in intonation that are not present in written language, whose only means of transmission is the graphic sign. For this reason, the written language is more neat, organized and careful.

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