Language vs Speech: Difference and Comparison

The language of an area is mostly dependent upon its culture, religion, nation, and, most importantly, on history. Some of the languages have changed with time, and some just have vanished into thin air.

It is a very important tool for communication. Another such tool is speech which means the act of expressing. Both of them are important for livelihood. These are similar to communication tools but do not mean they are synonyms.

Key Takeaways

  1. Language is a communication system that uses words, symbols, and grammar to convey meaning, while speech refers to producing sounds to convey a message.
  2. Language is a complex cognitive process that involves comprehension, expression, and interpretation, while speech is a physical activity that involves the vocal cords, mouth, and lungs.
  3. Language is a fundamental aspect of human communication and culture, while speech is one of many ways language can be expressed.

Language vs Speech 

The difference between Language and Speech is Language describes the general idea of the message that need to be communicated and is a tool by which human understand each other, whereas speech describes the way of communicating that particular message verbally, it is the expression of feelings and thoughts. Languages have their rules, codes, signs, and types, but speech does not have any of these. It simply includes speaking.

Language vs Speech

Language is a very important part of humankind. Because of language, all the development from Stone Age has taken place.


Language Quiz

Language quiz helps us to increase our language skills

1 / 10

What is the term for a word that is opposite in meaning to another word?

2 / 10

What is the study of words and their meanings called?

3 / 10

Fill in the blank. “Bad weather can ________ people’s ability to work.”

4 / 10

Which phrase is erroneous?

5 / 10

Ahmed is 65 kg, and Ali is 50 kg, so Ahmed is _ _ _ _ _ _ Ali.

6 / 10

What is the term for a word that shows a relationship between a noun and other words in a sentence?

7 / 10

Put ________ bag on ________ table, then give me ________ apple and ________ bar of chocolate.

8 / 10

He drives quite ________, but his brother drives really ________.

9 / 10

Choose the word that means the opposite of "to begin":

10 / 10

What is the difference between syntax and semantics?

Your score is


It is a means of communication and is different in different areas. It includes speeches, gestures, writing, etc. Linguistics is the scientific study of language.

If an individual is verbally or vocally communicating by using any language, it is called speech. In this thought, feelings and ideas are interchanged between humans.

It is the easiest and most effective way of communication where direct communication takes place. A very simple and common example of this is two people talking with each other.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonLanguageSpeech
MeaningThe Communication system of a country or area.Verbal communication by using languages.
Tool of communicationUse to write, understand, etc.Used for verbal communication.
RoleExpress ideas need to be communicated.Show how the message has to be communicated.
RulesIt has certain rules.No such rules
Usage of codesCodes are used sometimes as the language (computer language)No codes are used.

What is Language?

Without language, it is not possible to communicate. It is a very important part of life.

Languages have the following characteristics:

  • Arbitrary: in language, there is no reason behind the meanings and words of the language. For example, there is no proof or reason why a female is called a woman in English. It is completely arbitrary. But after a certain word is given a meaning, it is fixed and cannot be used for referring to something else.
  • Social: through language, humans communicate with each. They try to understand each other and form groups in society. Languages perform as a means of socializing as through this, and people feel connection and relation among each other.
  • Symbolic: language not only contains words but also has symbols with meaning. It is very important to know the language to understand the exact meaning of a particular symbol.
  • Systematic: all languages have a system with some rules. This system has to be followed to learn and speak the language. For example, various grammar rules must be handled properly in the grammatical system.
  • Vocal: earlier language was only vocal later on, writing came into existence. But still, nowadays, some people may not know how to write a particular language but vocally speak the same language fluently.
  • Productive and creative: languages are very creative and productive. Words can be arranged in a different sense which is not heard or read before. It is also very flexible as it can be changed as needed by society.

What is Speech?

Speech is the process of conveying a message by using language.

It has certain elements:

  • Speaker: it is the person who starts the conversion/communication. A particular person starts communication with a single or group of people. It is important that whatever the speaker is conveying, he should have all the information about that.
  • Message: a message is an important part of the speech. This is important that the speaker not only conveys the message but also makes the listener understand the message properly. 
  • Channel: the medium through which the message is delivered is known as a channel. It can be written or spoken. With easy internet access, the channel has become more effective and convenient. The message can reach millions in very little time.
  • Listener: listener is someone to whom the message is being conveyed. The listener should always pay attention to the speech for better understanding.
  • Feedback: feedback is important as it leads to improvising speech. It is healthy to have feedback from the listener about what they think and feel about the speech.
  • Interference: interference disturbs the message from delivering to the listener; it can be anything from the fan’s noise or lack of interest.
  • Situation: it means the place and time of conveying the message. It is important to understand all the aspects of speech so that a proper message is conveyed without any interference.

Main Differences Between Language and Speech

  1. Both language and speech are tools of communication, but language is used to write and understand thoughts and feelings or perceptions, whereas, in speech, all the thoughts, perceptions, and feelings are communicated verbally.
  2. The role of language is to express the idea that needs to be communicated, and in speech, it is shown how the same idea has to be communicated.
  3. Certain rules of different languages have to be taken care of, but there is no such rule with speech, although it has certain components such as Articulation, Voice, and fluency.
  4. There are types of language which also include the language of signs, where communication is done in signs only, but in speech, no such type of actual verbal communication must be done.
  5. Codes are also included in the types of language, especially for the computer, i.e., computer language or programming, but no such codes are included in the speech.
Difference Between Language and Speech

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