Language and Culture as a Social Reality

March 19, 2015

 

When #learning a language, what is it one really hopes to achieve? The ability to #communicate to locals when #abroad and #holidaying, or is it something more profound? Perhaps language fulfils the need for acceptance into a different #social group, so as not to seem an outsider. Language is a demonstration of #power, of #knowledge, and in many cases, of respect.

 

Whilst language plays a pivotal role in the #understanding of and access into a #culture, it does not define it. It works as a #mechanism or #shield – language is essentially a #safety blanket. If I can communicate in #French to the #Parisians, then I am safe and immune from any #prejudices or disadvantages. Unfortunately, the Parisians aren’t always that welcoming!

 

Nevertheless, communication is a fundamental aspect of #human #nature. Whilst advances in #technology and #media in recent years have allowed leeway in terms of #interactivity with various #people and #entities, learning a language is a key into not only the #society but the individual in it. An error in translation can cause misunderstandings – not only in specific #words and #phrases, but in the essence and meaning of what is #said and also what is implied.

 

The two go hand in hand – without one, the other suffers. Essentially, language learning leads to #cultural learning and understanding.

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