The concepts of trance/hypnosis appeal to a broad range of people with a variety of languages and cultures. As a hypnotist, trancing someone who does not speak the same language as you (and indeed being hypnotised by someone who speaks a different language) can potentially present additional considerations bit none of these are insurmountable.

I’m writing this blog post from the perspective of a hypnotist but the points I raise can often be flipped and applied to the perspective of the subject looking to be tranced by someone who speaks another language so bear that in mind when reading. Also, most of this is common sense but I’ve found even common sense can be reassuring when reinforced so this is to remind you that language does not have to be a barrier to a fun and effective trance!

The first thing to consider, as a hypnotist, is whether or not the subject has a good enough grasp of your language to be able to understand what you are saying. They do not need to be fluent but the session will go a lot more smoothly if they can broadly understand what you are suggesting/conveying.

Secondly, be mindful of the language you’re using. Sometimes we are all prone to using more complex words, terms and phrases because we feel they get a point across better or are more efficient but these may not always be well understood by a non-native speaker. Consider if there are more simple, straightforward and easily understood phrases that you can use. It’s not about “dumbing down” in any way. More about being more self aware and considerate in the language you use.

Also, give consideration to the speed at which you speak and your diction. Don’t over do it. Speaking too slowly and over-emphasizing can come across as patronising and it goes without saying that that is not the intention. But again, being mindful of how fast you speak can make a difference. The same as if you’re speaking with someone in a language you are learning/unfamiliar with. If the other person speaks a bit more slowly and clearly it can be easier for you to understand what is being said.

Reinforce the fact that the person you’re working with is allowed to speak up if there’s something they don’t understand. Questions don’t hinder trance – even if the subject is going into trance or already in trance. State this at the outset. Work it into your pretalk and reassure the person that questions are ok.

Make a point of proactively “checking in” and making sure that you’re being understood appropriately. Ask if there is anything you can do to ensure that you are better understood. Trance is a collaborative effort – you’re supporting your subject and showing them how to capitalise on a skill they already possess. Also regularly self-analysis your own communication. If you are speaking more slowly are you making sure you’re not speaking too slowly or that your speech is stilted?

There’s a lot to consider so it’s worth practising self awareness of how you communicate in sessions in general as a form of preparation. I don’t suggest this to make you self conscious, but to make you self aware. It’s good practice as the more aware you are of how you present yourself, the more opportunities you are giving yourself to improve (and we are all open to improving, all the time. It’s natural and to be encouraged. Fine tuning your abilities will help you to better yourself and your hypnosis capabilities.).