Intended for healthcare professionals


Doctor with an accent

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 29 August 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g1896

In Praise of Multilingualism

Communication is a miracle. We communicate with many different languages, dialects, idioms, abbreviations, and accents. So our communication is often imperfect and subject to misunderstanding. But we should treat these misunderstandings with patience and kindness, especially when they occur with foreigners who are multilingual and speak our language with an accent. The accents, foibles, and faux pas of multilingualism are not defects or adversity, but tributes to perfect diversity. 

Competing interests: No competing interests

29 August 2014
Hugh Mann
New York, USA