Language and culture

Language and culture, these two concepts maybe different from one another but they are related through the social aspect. How one sees a certain language is greatly dependent from what culture it came. And how one thinks a certain culture is deeply influenced by what language a certain person is using. We are all not the same. Different regions of the world have their own language and culture that makes them distinct and known from the others. This might be a general view or idea to begin with but let me prove three keypoints regarding this issue.

The author (Claire, 1998) of this book defines the term “language” as the most important way where we perform our actions socially. When language is already used in the various processes of communication, it is already regarded to show an act that is bound by culture. All the words that people utter come from a reality or an experience. It can be an idea learned from others, a fact, an opinion, a reaction, a certain belief or an expression. Whatever it is, it absolutely refers that through the use of language the reality of culture is expressed. This is the first keypoint. Aside from the expression of language, there is also the creation of language or expressed language and this is second keypoint. How is language created and manifested? Examples of this concept are through letter writing, email messaging, text messaging, talking over the telephone or even the personal way.

Through this ways of communication, a lot of things are being taken into consideration such as tone of voice, gestures, accent, facial expressions, style of conversing, etc. These things create meaning that describes the kind of group that one person belongs to. This second keypoint is referring that through the use of language the reality of culture is embodied. Lastly, language is a structured concept of signs. Speakers of their own languages are regarded to be the symbols of the culture that they are representing, therefore creating a certain social identity. There are times or encounters where these speakers or being forbidden to express. This means that the culture or the social group that they represent is not being favored by others. This third and last keypoint is referred to as through the use of language, the reality of culture is symbolized.

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Claire (1998) clearly defined culture by contrasting it with “nature”. We all know that “nature” is something that is of birth or born. On the other hand, culture is something that is acquired or is already formed through relationships within the community or people’s teachings within the surroundings. Socialization is formed when both language and culture are applied with nature. All the ways that we have acquired from the time we were born, such as the dos and the don’ts of social actions, toilet trainings, table etiquettes, manners, schooling and home practices, they shape us to the cultural identity that we belong to. Even written languages are being shaped and formed through the culture concept. This is shown in several ways such as writing a formal or an informal letter, the kind of person to whom the letter is being intended to, business letters, invitation letters, letters for political use, love letters, chain letters, etc. Their differences with regards to intentions reflect the culture of the written languages. This is the method by which culture can be predicted through the language used by various people.

Language and culture are very important aspects of human living. Culture, through the use of language, releases people from the unsystematic ways of nature. It organizes our thoughts and actions. It makes every individual find their own social group where they want and feel comfortable to belong to. Belonging to a certain group implies following the norms of the group, the rules and regulations. Members of an institution (family, school, church, community, etc.) have their common ways. If this is not done accordingly, of disobedience happens or deviation occurs, that member or individual is not appropriate to be a part of that group. Therefore, being a part of another group should be considered. The commonality of their thoughts and actions are expressed using language just like deciding on what to do or not to do or what to say or not to say and how they are done or said.

Culture, through the use of language, is also reflected with how strong a certain group is. The norms or the rule and regulations to be followed are being implemented by the powerful ones of the group. The powerless members are required and are expected to follow. The powerful ones are those who are intelligent enough to make the culture they belong to, strong enough, distinct and known from the others. They decide the things that are expected and those that are not expected to do by the members. They are the ones who decide what beliefs are worth keeping, what histories are worth remembering and what future are worth looking forward to. A certain social group’

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