Language and culture - Essay Example

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Looking back on my previous response papers, I could not help but be amazed about how much I have learned about languages and its effect on a people and their culture. One of the first things I learned was that “language is a key to learn a culture”. Familiarity with the…
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Language and culture Looking back on my previous response papers, I could not help but be amazed about how much I have learned about languages and its effect on a people and their culture. One of the first things I learned was that “language is a key to learn a culture”. Familiarity with the language of a people opens up their cultural world to any stranger who might come by. That is probably why I tend to think of myself as someone familiar with the American culture. What with my constant exposure to their literature, movies, and humor from their television sitcoms, I feel that I at least know enough about the language of the Americans to be able to understand their culture and society.
It is important to note however, that even with an understanding of the language, if one does not understand the humor embroiled in the language, then one will be missing out on understanding a great part of the native culture of a people. Most of this humor is often reflected in the written work, the literary creations of the writers of the country, where the humor is mixed with the presentation of the culture and life of the people.
That is why I have been drawn into the world of literature in my undergraduate studies. It became quite an interesting feat for me to translate English to Arabic and vice versa. I found that I was easily moved by the Arabic poems and only “interested” in the English poems, which I did not find as strong or compelling as their Arabic counterparts.
My professor told me that this was because the strong suit of the Arabic nation was the highly expressive language that the people used. As such, it had developed over time to effectively use words that would influence and compel people to have an interest in learning more about the Arabic way of life and the culture of its people. Read More
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