Maybe it's more of a question to linguists out here. I'm wondering if there is a difference in meaning between "oral communication" vs "speech communication". To me, both mean the same. But maybe they don't for native English speakers. I'm translating a doc about university subjects into BrE. Which one is more common?

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    They, presumably, could both work though "speech communication" is not really a thing. And oral communication like that sounds like it comes from French or Spanish. How about: spoken communication? As opposed to written communication.
    – Lambie
    Sep 25 at 15:06
  • 1
    @Lambie It can be verbal communication.
    – Sam
    Sep 25 at 15:11
  • Yes, @Lambie, you seem right: spoken communication sounds much more natural to me. Regarding Sam's suggestion: verbal may also mean written.
    – Diane Mik
    Sep 25 at 15:31
  • @DianeMik - verbal means spoken, not written. dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/verbal Sep 25 at 16:05
  • What @Lambie said. Per this usage chart, speech communication is something of a "failed coinage" (mainly AmE, rather than BrE), which is being rapidly replaced by spoken communication. Sep 25 at 19:55

1 Answer 1


The phrase “speech communication” is not generally used in English. Webster’s defines speech as “the communication or expression of thoughts in spoken words” - in other words, the concept of communication is already included in the word speech. This makes “speech communication” sound redundant.

“Oral communication” doesn’t have this problem because “oral” means anything pertaining to your mouth, and you can do other things with your mouth besides communicate.

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