Every industry in Canada has to deal with multiple accents. So we all need to learn how to understand a thick accent and how to clarify when we don’t. And remember, if you are having difficulty understanding someone’s accent, they very likely are having difficulty understanding yours. So it is a two-way process. Learning to adjust an accent is time consuming and not easy so, meanwhile, get a few tips from from the following article which deals with the trucking industry.


How to Understand Truckers Who Speak With a Thick Accent

By Teona Baetu & Peter Carter

One of Canadian trucking’s most masterful salesmen, Bob Magloughlen, who passed away this past March, knew how to bridge the language gap.

In his later years, Magloughlen worked as a consultant to Dan Einwechter, president and CEO of Challenger Motor Freight, disposing of trucks that reached the end of their first life in the fleet. He used his communications savoir faire to sell trucks in places as far away as Libya and Russia, where his name “Mr. Magloughlen” could be more than a mouthful. Ditto for his customers here, many of whom were new Canadians. So, on his business card, he was simply “Mr. Bob.” No sense making things more confusing than necessary.

It’s no secret that Canada is a multicultural hub and that truck driving—perhaps more than any other industry—is a popular choice for many immigrants. Drivers born in Russia have to take orders from Punjabi dispatchers and Jamaican-born diesel techs are supposed to understand parts-sales reps from Mexico. They all speak English, but none of them talk the same way. The misunderstandings lead to frustration and inefficiency. Money as well as tempers get lost. Sometimes, it’s amazing any information gets passed along whatsoever, never mind that most of it ends up being accurate.

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