Language and Culture
One’s culture affects almost all of one’s communication behaviors. I discovered an article written by Margaret Cote, “Language Reflects Culture,” that reveals many of the differences between the Saulteaux language and the English language. Margaret Cote states, “Language determines the way a person views the world.” She describes how Indian people view things around them differently then English speaking people do. Margaret Cote says that she views the world around her in two different ways depending on what language she is speaking. In this paper I will discuss how attitudes and behavior are determined by the language one speaks and how language does indeed reflect a culture. 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. When Margaret Cope returns home the topic of the conversation determines the language she speaks. Different cultures see the world differently. The Saulteaux people are extremely concerned with exactness and have different words for we and you, depending on whether they are being inclusive or exclusive. American culture is not as concerned with exactness and therefore we use the words we and you differently. Different cultures have different beliefs and values and these are expressed in their language, whether it be verbal or non-verbal. Many misunderstandings occur in intercultural communications because many are unaware of these differences. It is important for one to learn the differences of various cultures for one to understand one’s own identity. It is through knowing about others that one learns what is truly important to oneself. Language Reflects a Culture Languages group aspects of reality together. Things that are important to a culture have many...
References: Cote, M. (1985). Language Reflects Culture. Retrieved June 22, 2008, from: http://www.sicc.sk.ca/saskindian/a85sep21.htm.
Hybels, S. & Weaver, R. (2007). Communicating Effectively. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Companies.
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