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Biplob Prodhan
  • 1 month ago
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Discuss the relationship between language and culture

Discuss the relationship between language and culture. [‘14,‘16,‘18]

Ans. Language and culture are closely related to each other. Language can be viewed as a verbal expression of culture. It is used to maintain and convey culture and cultural ties. Language provides us with many of the categories which we use for expression of our thoughts. Therefore, it is natural to assume that our thinking is influenced by the language.

Learning about culture is just as important as learning the language. To fully appreciate a language, we need to understand the culture of the people who speak it. Language is the method of human communication, either in written or a spoken form whereas culture is the idea, values and beliefs which we have in our society.

Language carries meanings and references beyond itself. The meaning of a particular language represent the culture of a particular social group. To interact with a language means to do so with the culture which is its reference point. We could not understand a culture without having direct access to its language because of their intimate connection.

A particular language points to the culture of a particular social group. Therefore, learning a language is not only learning the alphabet, the meaning, the grammar rules and the arrangements of words, but also learning the behaviour of the society and its cultural customs. Thus, language teaching should always contain some explicit references to the culture, the whole from which the particular language is extracted.

Language can mark the cultural identity, but it is also used to refer to other phenomena and refer beyond itself, especially when a particular speaker uses it to explain intentions. Language teaching is cultural teaching due to the independence of language and cultural learning.

However, learning a language is learning the behaviour of a given society and its cultural customs. Moreover, language is a product of the thought and behaviour of a society. An individual language speaker’s effectiveness in a foreign language is directly related to his/her understanding of the culture of that language, and it is possible to consider teaching culture through learner’s own languages, which can be used in a specific way to interpret the other culture.

Indeed, the words we speak, might be language. But the way we speak it, is all part of our culture which our parents and society has been teaching us from the day we are born. In other words, the relationship between language and culture is deeply rooted.

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