Language and Culture: The Forces that Connect
Language and culture are two of the most powerful forces that bring people together. Language is the vehicle for communication, enabling people to express their thoughts, feelings and ideas to others. It also serves as a bridge for understanding the culture of a particular society. As scholars point out, language is the “primary vehicle for the transmission of culture” (Hymes, 2019, p. 13). Culture, on the other hand, provides the context and meaning that people use to interpret and make sense of the world around them. It also serves as a repository of shared values, beliefs and customs that are used by a group to define who they are and how they relate to each other. The connection between language and culture is a two-way street. While language provides the framework for understanding culture, culture also influences the way language is used. This is because language is a reflection of the shared values, beliefs and customs of a particular group (Vygotsky, 2018). For example, the way people use language in a particular society can give clues to their cultural background. For instance, in some cultures, certain words might be considered impolite or inappropriate, while in others certain words might be considered polite or appropriate… Cont…
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