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Language And Culture Essay

language and culture essay

Example #1

Culture and language are deeply related in that language can be used to reflect the culture of a particular society or the language can reflect the culture and its world view. Language is used to express and sustain culture and cultural associations that exist in a given society. Different ideas result from the use of different languages within a culture.

The worldview is a structure consisting of ideas and beliefs through which a person interprets the world around him and also the world view determines how the person interacts with it. A worldview can be shaped by the culture and language that is common in a particular society. This is because people in a society use their language to express their culture thus expressing the world view in that society.

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Language and culture are NOT fundamentally inseparable. At the most basic level, language is a method of expressing ideas. That is, language is communication; while usually verbal, language can also be visual (via signs and symbols), or semiotics (via hand or body gestures). Culture, on the other hand, is a specific set of ideas, practices, customs, and beliefs which make up a functioning society as distinct.

A culture must have at least one language, which it uses as a distinct medium of communication to conveys its defining ideas, customs, beliefs, et al., from one member of the culture to another member. Cultures can develop multiple languages, or “borrow” languages from other cultures to use; not all such languages are co-equal in the culture. One of the major defining characteristics of a culture in which language(s) are the primary means of communication in that culture; sociologists and anthropologists draw lines between similar cultures heavily based on the prevalent language usage.

Languages, on the other hand, can be developed (or evolve) apart from its originating culture. Certain languages have scope for cross-cultural adaptations and communication, and may not actually be part of any culture. Additionally, many languages are used by different cultures (that is, the same language can be used in several cultures).

Language is heavily influenced by culture – as cultures come up with new ideas, they develop language components to express those ideas. The reverse is also true: the limits of a language can define what is expressible in a culture (that is, the limits of a language can prevent certain concepts from being part of a culture).

Finally, languages are not solely defined by their developing culture(s) – most modern languages are amalgamations of other prior and current languages. That is, most languages borrow words and phrases (“loan words”) from other existing languages to describe new ideas and concepts. In fact, in the modern very-connected world, once one language manufactures a new word to describe something, there is a very strong tendency for other languages to “steal” that word directly, rather than manufacture a unique one itself.

The English language is a stellar example of a “thief” language – by some accounts, over 60% of the English language is of foreign origin (i.e. those words were originally imported from another language). Conversely, English is currently the world’s largest “donor” language, with vast quantities of English words being imported directly into virtually all other languages.

For many people, language is not just the medium of culture but also is a part of the culture. It is quite common for immigrants to a new country to retain their old customs and to speak their first language amid fellow immigrants, even if all present are comfortable in their new language. Linguistic differences are also often seen as the mark of another culture, and they very commonly create divisiveness among neighboring peoples or even among different groups of the same nation.

A good example of this is in Canada, where French-speaking natives of Quebec clash with the English-speaking majority. This sort of conflict is also common in areas with a great deal of tribal warfare. It is even becoming an issue in America as speakers of standard American English – mainly whites and educated minorities – observe the growing number of speakers of black English vernacular.

No one in other majors will be more sensitive than us about the relationship between language and culture since we are English majors. The exact nature of the relationship between language and culture has fascinated and continues to fascinate, people from a wide variety of backgrounds. That there should be some kind of relationship between the sounds, words, any syntax of a language, and the ways in which speakers of that language experience the world and behave in it seems so obvious as to be a truism.

It would appear that the only problems deciding the nature of the relationship and finding suitable ways to demonstrate it. Post 1 said that language and culture are almost inseparable, it does not say that these are fully inseparable. Language plays a great role in the culture. I think language is the most important role-player in the cultural system, since, language is the medium of expression.

And, when you’re forcefully and deliberately compelled to speak in a foreign language against your will, your condition would not remain the same what it is now, where one is inherently speaking in another language in lieu of mother tongue because s/he is accustomed to that language while staying in that region for many days.

The language used as a native language reflects also reflects the culture of the society. It is better able to express the beliefs, and values promoted by the culture of the society. In this way, the language used by people affects the ease of understanding and internalization of cultural values and beliefs. For example, the English words cousin represents a family relationship quite different from the relationship represented by the words brother or sister.

But as per Indian culture cousins represent a relationship very close to those of brothers and sisters. To reflect this aspect of family relationships Indian languages use terms for cousins that include the term brother or sister qualified by the exact relationship. For example, a literal translation of these terms in English would be phrases such as paternal brother, paternal sister, maternal brother, and maternal sister. It is will be interesting to note that Indians have introduced phrases like cousin brother and cousin sister in the English language spoken by them to serve the needs of local culture better.

Writing is the major means of communication within an organization; paper is thought to be the major product of professional engineers; some estimate that up to 30% of work-time is engaged in written communication. Thus it is absolutely vital for you as a Professional Engineer to actively develop the skill of writing; not only because of the time involved in writing but also because your project’s success may depend upon it. Indeed, since so much of the communication between you and more senior management occurs in writing, your whole career may depend upon its quality.

Writing skills can be the ticket to better college grades and greater academic achievement. This article introduces a few techniques for applying writing skills to college success. But this good advice will be lost on you if you don’t believe writing skills are important and can help you achieve academic mastery. Our job is to convince you. To begin with, the overwhelming majority of instructors we surveyed said that writing skills are critical to academic success.

And if you see yourself as one of those college students who will say “Phew” when the syllabus reveals only exams and no papers, what happens when those exams turn out to be essay tests? This article suggests a few ways to raise your grade on those exams simply by employing the principles of good writing — even if you study no harder and know the material no better than you do now.

Perhaps you’ve heard that no one cares about your grades once you leave the halls of academia. While that notion holds some truth, it is equally true that most potential employers do care about writing skills. They care so much that they bemoan the poor preparation of the entry-level pool of grads. In a labor force full of mediocre writers, someone who writes well is bound to stand out and succeed.

Academicians and business people view writing skills as crucial, yet increasing numbers of these professionals note a steady erosion in the writing abilities of graduates. The summary of a study published in Personnel Update states: “Writing skills … of executives are shockingly low, indicating that schools and colleges dismally fail with at least two-thirds of the people who pass through the education pipeline coming out unable to write a simple letter.”

Good writing skills are essential for thinking and sharing ideas development. Although conversation takes a major role in shaping human experience, knowledge, and new ideas it refers to present times only. Speaking, whatever good it is, does not work when we need to leave valuable information for our descendants. Good writing is mainly based on a close interrelation between writer-reader where the reader is to be the primary person.

This reader-oriented approach breaks down some strict rules which usually cut down writer’s freedom and fresh ideas in writing. However, the general knowledge of structure, content, style, referencing, spelling, and grammar are still very important. An essay content is a primary step to start writing. Usually, work comprises ideas statement, problem question, and its definition and author’s arguments for this question.

The statement and problem mainly come from available resources: books, reviews, journals, magazines which can be easily found in libraries and electronic sources. When a writer gathers all needed materials his next step is to construct an appropriate scheme which is usually called a plan or outlines. Both composing and structure are aimed to produce a qualitative link of chains that are closely connected and reflect the initial statement. Thus, essay structure consists of three parts: introduction (beginning), body (middle), and conclusion (end) which must have smooth transitions between each other.

The introduction must clearly show the subject and its background in order to explain to a reader what you are going to write about. Sometimes questions are of great help to set up your subject clearly. Many instructions recommend such sort of questions: What is the important thing for your reader to consider? What can your reader learn? According to the reader-oriented viewpoint, it is necessary to explain all the terms that a writer is going to use because some of them are difficult to understand by a reader. The subject appointed in the introduction must be developed in the main part body.

The classic guides demand three paragraphs of the body. This number should vary because a paragraph is not a structural part but a writer’s completed thought which is included in the whole subject. The aim to complete your whole idea or statement may demand different sizes and even numbers of paragraphs. Thus, the only thing that should not be neglected is sentence completion and logical interaction between them. One of the most valuable and reliable things to not lose the logic link is avoiding long and complicated sentences.

Conclusions are aimed at 1) summarize all previous information; 2) sum up and point out the most important things; 3) introduce a new question or idea for further researches. Successful combination of summary and closure with new suggestions is considered to be ‘the very best endings’. Summarizing helps to emphasize the most important argument and therefore, to identify gaps or uncertain arguments in the subject. This identification of problems opens new directions for further research.

The new fresh ideas can be expressed by questions which a writer sets in the last sentences of his work. The students’ essays are usually assigned with necessary styles. They can be MLA, Harvard, APA, or any other styles which are widely used in modern writing. They vary in citation and reference presentation but these differences are easily available in Internet resources. Different styles and assignments can bring some variations into the structure, grammar usage, syntax, and morphological features.

The only thing that should not be omitted is the whole picture of completed and easily understandable work. It is a very good idea to remind your reader why you write this work and what it is about. Although the statement remains the same, the conclusion should develop it. According to the body content, which can approve or deny the statement in the introduction, the conclusion statement either confirms or opposes the introduction. Certainly, the conclusion, which is contradictory to the introduction, draws larger interest because of intrigue. This intrigue encourages the reader and involves him in further research.

What Makes Writing So Important?

  • Writing is the primary basis upon which your work, your learning, and your intellect will be judged—in college, in the workplace, and in the community.
  • Writing expresses who you are as a person.
  • Writing is portable and permanent. It makes your thinking visible.
  • Writing helps you move easily among facts, inferences, and opinions without getting confused—and without confusing your reader.
  • Writing promotes your ability to pose worthwhile questions.
  • Writing fosters your ability to explain a complex position to readers, and to yourself.
  • Writing helps others give you feedback.
  • Writing helps you refine your ideas when you give others feedback.
  • Writing requires that you anticipate your readers’ needs. Your ability to do so demonstrates your intellectual flexibility and maturity.
  • Writing ideas down preserves them so that you can reflect upon them later.
  • Writing out your ideas permits you to evaluate the adequacy of your argument.
  • Writing stimulates you to extend a line of thought beyond your first impressions or gut responses.
  • Writing helps you understand how truth is established in a given discipline.
  • Writing equips you with the communication and thinking skills you need to participate effectively in democracy.
  • Writing is an essential job skill.


Example #2

Language is the most influential form of communication. It is the most powerful instrument an individual can have. By definition, language is the use by human beings of voice sounds, organized in order to express and communicate thoughts and feelings. It is what has shaped our society into what it has become today, what has allowed our civilization to excel and progress into what is now modern-day.

Language has allowed the individual to communicate within a group as well as within him in order to accomplish many goals. It gives us a means by which we can organize our ideas and thoughts into rational, logical actions. It is also a vehicle by which we can gather, analyze, and learn from the information. There is no question that human beings are the most powerful living creature on this planet. And why does this fact remain true?

Communication. In spite of the historical conflicts, miscommunication has created, our ability to converse as we do enables us to dominate the modern world. No plant, animal, or mineral can communicate on the level that we do. Language is distinct from other forms of communication in many ways. Language depends upon the use of symbols with arbitrary meanings, which allow us to 1) negate, deny, lie, conceal and modify; 2) talk about things that are not present; 3) talk about abstract qualities and categories; 4) talk about things that have never existed; 5) enable humans to solve problems, to create, innovate, imagine, dream, and hope, etc.

Language entails the use of syntax, which is the organization of words into meaningful phrases, sentences, etc, and multiplies the uses of a limited number of words in any given language’s vocabulary into an infinite number of possible statements. Language includes illocutionary events, all the unspoken tones, emphases, gestures, facial expressions, that modify our speech and that make simultaneous communication of contradictory messages possible.

Language has those differences played a role in making culture a central part of human adaptation. Culture implies “a substantial degree of sharedness, boundedness, and coherence of a locally cumulated way of life,” we share interests, language, lifestyles, and ideals. This sharedness of values is what helps make this connection to others possible. Culture is a human’s primary adaptation. Culture is embedded in language.

Why? Because of the continuity of language, we can use it to trace historical ties among human societies and cultures. With the continuity of written language, we can inherit the knowledge from our ancestors and pass this knowledge to our next generations. We can say that language makes culture possible and culture gives us life. Language is a parameter for which to run our lives, however, it does not lay definite guidelines as to what will ensure our success.

There are no physical barriers within language, each individual chooses their own route to follow. The human language may be manipulated and twisted, it can be made to convey similar ideas in many different forms. The mastering of the human language is the strongest element that individuals can possess to ensure success. Without the ability to communicate by language an individual is helpless, ending up lost and out of touch with society.

There is no doubt that humans benefit from the power of language. It can be said that language is what makes humans mobile, without it we would be helpless. Language is an extremely fortified form of communication. It can make us laugh, cry, get angry, or cheer us up. Language is the most popular form of communication and we see it everywhere. Everyday we use language in its many different parts. Whoever said, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” really knew nothing about the power of language.


Example #3 – Relationship Between Language and Culture Essay

Language and culture are intertwined. One cannot define or identify cultural orientations without citing variations in language. The purpose of the essay is to clearly highlight the issue of intercultural communication with reference to language. Culture describes variations in values, beliefs, as well as differences in the way people behave (DeVito 2007). Culture encompasses everything that a social group develops or produces.

The element of culture is not genetically transmitted and as such, they have to be passed down from one generation to the next through communication. This explains why it is easy to adopt a certain language depending on the shared beliefs, attitudes, and values.

The existence of different cultures can be explained using the cultural relativism approach which stipulates that although cultures tend to vary, none is superior to the other (DeVito 2007). Learning of cultural values can be done through enculturation whereby individuals learn the culture of their birth. Alternatively, one can be acculturated into a culture that is divergent from their basic culture (DeVito 2007).

Language is the verbal channel of communication by articulating words that an individual is conversant with. This is aimed at relaying information. In other words, it is the expression of one’s culture verbally (Jandt 2009).

Language is the first element that helps an individual to distinguish the cultural orientations of individuals. Through language, we are able to differentiate between, for example, a Chinese national and a Briton. The main functions of language are generally for information purposes and for the establishment of relationships.

Different cultures perceive the use of language differently. Whereas an American regards it as a useful communication tool, the Chinese will use their language to relay their feelings and to establish relationships. It is through such variances of language that different cultures have placed on the usage of their language to show the link between the two study variables (Jandt 2009).

Intercultural communication refers to communication between people from different cultural backgrounds. Due to the differences in cultures, there is a high probability that a message will be misunderstood and distorted. The difference in languages leads to challenges in the interpretation of, for example, politeness, acts of speech, and interaction management. Normally, differences in languages lead to impediments in understanding. This is due to the difference in perception as far as values are concerned.

Language shapes our lines of thought and as such, it is the core element that shapes how people perceive the world. The way people communicate is largely due to their cultures of origin. Language increases the rate of ethnocentrism in individuals thus furthering their self-centeredness in culture.

As a result, they are less responsive to the different means of communication that are not similar to their own values and beliefs (McGregor eta al 2007). Language further heightens the aspect of accelerating cultural differences as it openly showcases the variations in communication. In turn, this view tends to impede negatively on intercultural efforts, thereby having a negative impact on the communication between individuals of different cultural orientations.

There is a need for individuals to evaluate the usage of language in order to effectively interpret the shared meanings that are meant to be communicated. It is important therefore that individuals from a multi-cultural context look at each other beyond their differences in order to enable effective communication.


Example #4 – The Importance of Language and Culture

There are two forms of communication–verbal and non-verbal. Nonverbal communication is usually understood as the process of communication through sending and receiving wordless messages. Language is not the only source of communication, there are other means also. Messages can be communicated through gestures and touch, by body language or posture, by facial expression and eye contact.

Meaning can also be communicated through objects or artifacts (such as clothing, hairstyles, or architecture), symbols, and icons (or graphics). Language is more than just a means of communication. It influences our culture and even our thought processes. Language is arguably the most important component of culture because much of the rest of it is normally transmitted orally.

It is impossible to understand the subtle nuances and deep meanings of another culture without knowing its language well. Different languages are easier to learn at a younger age before completely understanding the first language. Trying to learn a second language can be difficult for an adult because the language they speak can confuse them while trying to learn.

Different languages come from different backgrounds and when crossed can lead to great misunderstanding between the two languages. Anthropologists have found that learning about how people categorize things in their environment provides important insights into the interests, concerns, and values of their culture(Oneil, 2006). Language determines the way a person reviews the world. One’s culture determines the way one processes information and how one copes with reality.

Concepts and objects have frames of reference that differ from culture to culture. The meaning of a word partly depends on the culture’s historical relation to the concept or object described. Different cultures see the world differently. Different cultures have different beliefs and values and these are expressed in their language, whether it be verbal or non-verbal.


Example #5 – The Relationship Between Language And Culture

When looking into the world the question has always come about, what comes first the chicken or the egg. This question has never been answered because of the simple fact that they are strongly connected with each other. Language and Culture have been at the forefront of research for anthropologists. The question remains, how strong is the connection between the two.

Through many readings and research, there has not been a set conclusion to this ongoing discussion. A child is born into this world and the first things he learns are experiences, later on, life through school and education he is able to learn a language to describe everything he has previously seen or felt. In this writing, I intend to prove that Culture and Language are strongly related.

Culture creates an experience and language is then formed to explain that experience to others. In this essay, I intend to show the strong relationships between language and culture. With many different cultures surrounding us today, it is impossible to understand a culture without breaking down the linguistics they speak. Language is the system we use for communication.

Communication is one of the key components in preserving the traditions and customs of people around the world. Having an established language we begin to develop an idea of ethnocentrism which is the idea that your culture is superior to others.


Example #6

It is generally agreed that language and culture are closely related and these two notions cannot be separated. People presenting different cultures speak different languages and sometimes, they speak the same language differently, using various dialects. While speaking, a person visualizes things that are spoken.

The American linguist Benjamin Lee Whorf was interested in whether people speaking different languages see the same things differently. According to him and his theory of linguistic relativity, language shapes the way we think and determines what we think about. The scientist believes that Russian speakers and English-speaking people see the world differently. One of the greatest examples which demonstrate that people see things differently depending on the language they speak is the comparison between the idea of snow of an English and an Eskimo person.

The Eskimo has many words to describe snow, while the English man has only one. An Eskimo has a specific word to describe the wet snow or the snow currently falling. So, the Eskimo sees and perceives snow differently, and therefore he visualizes and says the word differently. Benjamin Lee Whorf also mentions the Dani people, a farming group from New Guinea. They have got only two words to describe the two basic colors: bright and dark. Therefore, one of these people is not being able to differentiate colors as well as English or Romanian person is able to.

Giving my own example, I can mention that Moldovan and Ukrainian people have some similar national dishes such as borscht, dumplings, cabbage rolls. The dishes seem to be the same; however, they are prepared differently and therefore, look differently. So, to describe one and the same dish Moldovans and Ukrainians would use different words. Thus, Benjamin Lee Whorf’s theory is very interesting, it demonstrates that members of different cultural groups not only speak different languages, they also think differently.


Example #7 – interesting ideas

I have an essay due in 2 weeks. I have no idea what to write about. I’m totally confused. What would make a good topic? Here is the assignment:

Write a three- to four-page (600-800 word) paper on a topic of your choice related to language and culture. Using the Web find an article about the differences in the way language is used in different cultures or the ways in which the language reflects the culture and its worldview. Summarize the information in the article you have chosen and evaluate the use of language in that culture, using concepts we have studied in this class. Make sure to follow the guidelines in the approved style guide for citing references appropriately in the text and in the Reference List at the end of the paper.

Answer. I can’t pick a topic for you but will say that you should start by trying to define culture. It’s complicated and there is no one right definition. What does culture mean to you? You could talk about advertising and media as the language through which companies communicate to the teen consumer culture. You could talk about how the Incas spoke Quechua, a non-written language, and managed to build one of the world’s most impressive empires. You could talk about American high school culture and the language you hear being used most frequently. These are just some ideas that you can build off of, although I don’t know what concepts you focused on in the class.

So I have an English essay due and I am completely hitting a dead end at every possible turn. English Assignment: Using examples from your family life and the speech of your friends, show how American English reflects American culture.

Answer. With your friends, you can talk about how texting language/social media text reflects how American English has changed. everything is abbreviated, or shortened because this generation is fast-paced and is slowly evolving the culture to a more quick and simple culture. you can even go out on a limb and say things in our modern language like “Yolo” is making decisions for people whether to do something or not.

Learning a mother tongue would absolutely help a person learn other languages because many languages have shared roots with multiple languages. For instance, if you are American and speak English but your parents are Peruvian and speak Spanish and you learn Spanish, well, you can also pick up Italian, French, and Portuguese rather easily because they have similar roots to Spanish.

Also, think about how you can travel the world knowing more than one language – knowing Spanish in addition to English you could go to many, many places and get by just fine. Additionally, there are phrases that can really only be expressed in certain languages so knowing your mother tongue helps you know the culture better and allows you to connect more deeply with people who speak the language.

One last note, Americans and English speakers, in general, get a bad rap for not learning about other languages and cultures whereas the rest of the world knows multiple languages. The more languages you learn, the more we can learn about the world and have the world learn about you. How fun, I wish I had a report on that topic! 🙂

Language and culture are inextricably linked to each other. As the German philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein said: “The limits of my language are the limits of my world.” Perhaps you will never know what the word “tubig” means unless you’re a Filipino from the Philippines who knows that the word means “water” in English.

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