Interaction of Language and Culture

Topics: Chinese language, Dialect, Language Pages: 2 (826 words) Published: November 12, 2012
The Interaction of Language and Culture
Language has a deep connection into our daily life and is fundamental to our culture; it's hard to imagine life without using a language. In fact, language plays a big role when a person is trying to convey his/hers thoughts. Languages are different from one another in innumerable ways, just because people talk differently does not necessarily mean that they think differently. However, according to Edward Spair and Benjamin Whorf, language can shape the way we think, behave, and even see the world around us. I agree, moreover in my opinion, language not only shapes the way we think but also affects culture; therefore, we can influence languages, and the language can also be influenced by our culture. This results from the structure of each language and the culture differences between each country. First of all, language influences the way people think by the sentences’ structure and grammar forms. Each language has a certain flow that shifts our thoughts into that language’s stereotype of structure. For instance, when I learned to speak English, I was told that there are about 10 different tenses; I have to somehow change the verb to fit into the right tense. In Chinese, there is no explicit verb tenses, because the Chinese characters don’t have different verb forms, people just say as the meaning of that particular thing. Different language structure could influence our minds in different ways; this is because the language we used to speak will habitually leads us to think in its certain flow. An example of how language structure affects our thinking is that if I want to invite you to a party in English, people will know the sponsor’s sex by him or her, and also may know something about the timing of the party. Chinese, on the other hand, it usually can not tell from the sponsor’s sex by the spoken Chinese because he/she pronounce the same. Also the exact time of the party maybe blur, since in Chinese the same...
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