Difference Between Language and Communication

Main Difference – Language vs Communication

Though Communication and language are two interrelated aspects in our day to day life, it is very important to discern the difference between these two terms. The main difference between language and communication is that communication is the exchange of information by speaking, writing, or by using other medium while language is a tool used for communication.

What Does Communication Mean

Communication is the exchange of information between two or more people by speech, sign, signal or behavior. There are always 4 important elements in communication: transmitter, signal, channel, and receiver. Transmitter is the person who transmits the message, and message is known as the signal. Channel is the medium in which the message is transmitted. Finally, Receiver is the one who receives the message.

Methods of Communication

Written communication involves traditional pen and paper letters and documents, typed electronic documents, e-mails, SMS, etc. conveyed through written symbols such as language.

Oral communication involves spoken word,  face-to-face or through phone, voice chat, video conferencing, or any other medium. 

Nonverbal Communication includes facial expressions, body language and gestures as well as quality, tone, pitch of the voice, etc.

Oral and written communication can also be introduced as linguistic communication while non verbal communication can be named as non linguistic communication. Language vs Communication

What Does Language Mean

Language is an abstract system of symbols and meanings governed by grammatical rules. Basically language can be divided in to oral language (the language we speak/speech) and written language. The study of language is known as linguistic and the person who studies language is referred to as linguist. There are many study areas of language such as syntax, phonology, morphology, semantics etc. 

According to linguists, language is not a static thing, it evolves and changes every day. New words are added to the language constantly while some words go out of usage. Some words also change meaning over the time. For example, the word nice means pleasing and agreeable in today’s society. But in the middle ages, nice meant foolish and ignorant.

There are numerous  languages in the world. In 2015, SIL Ethnologue cataloged 7,102 living human languages. These languages are categorized into language families according to their origins.There are more than 90 language families in the world and Afro-Asiatic (353 languages spoken in Africa and Asia), Austronesian (1,246 languages spoken in Asia and Oceania), Indo-European (430 languages spoken in Asia and Europe, and in European settlements in other parts of the world) are some examples of language families. 

diffence between language and communication

Difference Between Language and Communication


Communication: Communication is the exchange of information between two or more people by speech, sign, signal or behavior.

Language: Language is an abstract system of symbols and meanings governed by grammatical rules. 


Communication: Communication involves  interaction between two or more people.

Language: Language can be used by just one person.


Communication: Communication is a vast area.

Language: Language is a method of communication.


Communication: Communication gives more priority to the message.

Language: Language gives more importance to signs and symbols.


Communication: The basics of communication does not change.

Language: A living language does not stay static, it changes everyday.

Image Courtesy:
“Transactional comm model” by JasonSWrench – Own work.  via

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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