Language and Culture Essay

1029 Words Aug 19th, 2012 5 Pages
Language and Culture Differences in cultural language: what is the significance and how does it affect the world? As the world becomes more interconnected by technological advances, the need for interpersonal communication among different cultures has become evidently clear. It is quite obvious that one's culture affects almost all of one's communication behaviors. In “Language Reflects Culture,” and article written by Margaret Cote, she states that “language determines the way a person views the world” (Cote, 1985). She writes about how the Indian people view their surroundings differently than English speaking people. Cote goes on to make a personal statement as to how she sees the world in two different ways, depending on the …show more content…
By learning and knowing about others, an individual can learn what is truly important to themselves. So, how does language reflect a particular culture? Each type of language groups aspects of reality together. In each culture there are things that are important to them, and for those things, there may be many groups and words. As with those that are important, there are also values for those that are less significant. However, they have fewer groups or words. A good example of an American term would be the word car. This is because the automobile holds an important significance in the American culture. Within the language we speak, both non-verbal and verbal communication reflects whether or not a culture values individualism or collectivism. Individualistic cultures speak out when it comes to problem solving, value self-expression, and become confrontational when it comes to dealing with an interpersonal problem. Collectivist, on the other hand, maintain and unconditional loyalty to a particular group, and use avoidance and face-saving techniques to solve problems (Hybels & Weaver, 2007). Cultures also determine an individuals long-term and short-term orientation. In cultures where long-term orientation exist, people value tradition, persistence, having a sense of shame, and relationships by status. While in cultures where short-term orientation exist, people do not value tradition as much because it tends to prevent

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