Another fab 40 psychology experiment celebrating its fortieth birthday this year is the Mehrabian et al. one on non-verbal communication. I won’t bore you on the details of two tests involving listening to a voice/seeing photos conveying neutrality/dislike etc. If you want to be bored you can check it out yourself at wikipedia's page on Mehrabian
However you are probably familiar with the conclusions and the impact they have had on NLP (neurolinguistic programming), management and communication techniques and body language theories. The conclusions were the following:
Communication was firstly made up of body language (55%), followed by voice tone (38%), and last with only 7% was the actual words spoken.
This is incredible, why haven’t we realized it before? This means that we can understand 93% of what someone, anyone, is saying simply through how they’re sitting and the sound of their voice. Fantastic, that means I can understand nearly everything anyone says to me in Mandarin, Slovak, Hindi, the list is endless, and obviously I’m fluent in sign language without even realizing it.
It just goes to show that, as usual, dad is right. When speaking with foreign types it’s just a question of raising your voice and then they’ll understand you.