A learner’s understanding of the language and culture relationship is essential. Culture and language are inextricably linked. You can’t understand a culture without first learning a language.
A specific language is usually associated with a particular group of people. You interact with the culture of the language’s speaker when you communicate in their language.
Learning a foreign language entails learning the alphabet, word order, and grammar rules. Also, learning about the culture and norms of the target community.
When learning or teaching a language, it’s vital to understand the culture in which it’s spoken since language is deeply rooted in culture.
Language And Culture Relationship
To better understand their unique relationship, let’s begin by explaining language and culture.
What Exactly Is Language?
Language is a system of “speech, manual, or written symbols” that humans use to communicate. It enables us to communicate, interpret, and play. Language helps us to share with others and identify ourselves.
The roots of human language remain a mystery. Linguists agree that the first humans, the homo sapiens, used some spoken language. Yet, there is no record of this early language to show us how the speech started.
What Exactly Is Culture?
A group of people’s characteristics and patterns of behavior define their culture. Language, arts, and customs are the basic categories we use to characterize culture.
Culture, on either side, is much more than that. Culture teaches us how to think, communicate with others, and perceive our surroundings. This is your cultural perspective.
Culture comes from the Latin word “colere,” which means “to produce something out of the earth.” In specific ways, our history is what brings us closer together.
Culture is often used to identify or separate people into groups. Western culture, Eastern culture, and African culture, for example.
However, much like language, everybody has their own distinct culture. Even though two people living in similar situations will share characteristics. However, they are unable to share the same cultural experiences or ideas.
What Is The Relation Between Culture And Language?
Within a social community, culture and language share human beliefs, realities, and actions. As a result, there is a relationship between culture and language.
Whether it’s national folklore or everyday conversation, language and culture go hand in hand.
Paralanguage is the non-lexical portion of any culture’s language. It’s a broad word that encompasses things like body language and voice pitch or sound.
Depending on where you grew up, the paralanguage will be different. We pick up on those behaviors, expressions, and intonations from the people around us.
Body language that conveys conflict in one country sometimes views as supportive in another. This is why, while talking, paralanguage can trigger miscommunication between ethnic groups.
Pitch, intonation, speech rate, facial expressions, and hesitation noises are examples of paralanguage. It has a significant influence on the language you use.
If you’re bilingual, you’ve noticed how your voice “shifts” when you speak many languages. You can also note that your gestures or even attitudes change as a result of this.
How Language And Culture Are Interlinked?
Language changes often represent a culture’s changing values. Language and culture are inextricably related. And you can’t learn one without first knowing the other.
Language is related to all features of human life in society. And comprehension of the surrounding culture is key to learning a language. The language also allows for the development and evolution of cultural values.
Ken Hale, a well-known linguist, discusses the relationship between culture and language. He claims that when a language loses. A piece of culture is also lost as culture has a strong influence on the language.
Our fundamental traditions, ideals, and interpersonal interactions are all influenced by culture. Language, on the other hand, makes these exchanges quick.
Language promotes social connections. At the same time, culture aids our learning of how to connect with others.
What came first, language or culture?
The establishment of culture entails the use of language. Isn’t communication an essential human need? Since the beginning, humans have been communicating and engaging one another in various ways.
As a result, the language came first, for obvious reasons. Language is both the source and the essence of a culture.
Many languages evolved. And there are still many languages spoken around the world. Just 200 languages remain in both spoken and written form out of over 7000 languages. And many of the languages are now extinct.
It is fair to say that the complexity of languages and cultural diversity has increased over time. Languages change over time, owing to their cultural associations.
Language and Culture Evolution.
Do you know what language and culture have in common? Both are constantly developing!
For example, the English we use today is very different from the English of the past. Similarly, there are many variations between old and modern western cultures.
There’s no language without culture.
Over time, both language and culture undergo significant changes. You can’t expect a 10-year-old Chilean and a 70-year-old man to share the same culture or speak the same language. Even though they live in the same town.
What Role Do Language and Culture Play in Our Personality?
The language and culture you experience in life have a significant impact on your personality. Culture shapes beliefs and ethics by telling you how to deal with others. Furthermore, it keeps you in touch with like-minded people. Also, it strengthens your sense of belonging to society.
Language, on the other hand, is a resource that allows you to communicate your culture. In reality, language uses to convey cultural ideas and beliefs.
Furthermore, both culture and language allow us to look backward in history. Also, it helps shape our thoughts.
Our cultural values influence the way we perceive, talk, and communicate with others. Language affects human thoughts as well.
As previously mentioned, language and culture, as well as our personalities, continue to evolve. We learn and discover further when we encounter people from various cultures. And our interactions with them can affect our characters.
Linguistic and Cultural Diversity;
While there is diversity inside that group, culture unites a society. The language of the older generation, for example, will vary from the current people.
Furthermore, different groups can speak the same language. But other groups use different subsets.
In online forums, people could use a different version of the same language. Which would be very different from the media’s language and educated individuals.
The language uses in several ways. There are three types of linguistic varieties:
– Geographical – only used in specific areas of the community)
– Social – varieties used by societal groups based on occupation, gender, and age)
– Practical – languages used for specific purposes (used based on function and situation).
As a result of these factors, dialects emerge, adding to the language’s richness.
Do you want to learn a new language? First, learn about culture!
Understanding culture can be conducive when studying a foreign language. If you want to learn foreign languages, you must first learn about the cultures of that region.
You must be mindful of cultural differences to communicate effectively. Suppose you want to improve your language skills in a second language. Then it would help if you addressed both the culture and the language at the same time.
Language And Culture Relationship – Final Thoughts;
The more you think about a language’s cultural context, the faster you will learn it. If you aim to learn a foreign language, keep in mind that cultural awareness will be an essential part of your learning process.
You must understand socio-cultural factors. And learn how to approach people in that foreign language to get language skills. To summarize a long story, language and culture are inextricably related.
At The Language Doctors, our translators are more than mere linguists. Since they are native speakers, they all know their own culture like the back of their hands.
They are naturally aware of the complexities of their language and the languages in which they communicate. They use their extensive cultural expertise to help with translation tasks.
Contact our translators at any time of day or night, no matter where you are. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to provide you with skilled translation services of the highest quality and accuracy.
Send us an email at [email protected] or call us at (202) 544-2942 for a translation quote.