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Text of Culture Language

Components of Culture: Language

Language Defined:

A set of symbols that expresses ideas and allows people to think and communicate with each other. Can be verbal or nonverbal.

Even within one language, confusion is common.

How many interpretations can you think of for these sentences? There s a fork in the road. He shot his mouth off. My neighbor had her second car stolen. The artist painted me on the porch.

These are actual headlines taken from the newspaper.Soviet ships collide, one dies. Obesity study seeks larger test group. Safety experts say school bus passengers should be belted. Squad helps dog bite victim. Drunk gets nine months in violin case. Police begin campaign to run down jaywalkers.

Can you answer these questions?Why are they called stands when they re made for sitting? Why are a wise man and wise guy opposites? Why it called after dark when it s really after light? Why do fat chance and slim chance mean the same thing?

Understanding language becomes even more challenging for non-native speakers. nonWhat do these Kiwi expressions mean? Spit the dummy I m stuffed! Do you have a torch? Are you in college? He s had to do some hard yakka! Want some shark and tatties?

Language can also be a source of discrimination.Language and Gender: The use of the word man in words like chairman and mankind. Use of the pronouns he and she affects thinking about gender. For example, nurses and secretaries are usually referred to as she.

Language can also be an expression of racial and ethnic discrimination.Some words have more than one meaning and create negative images, such as blackhearted or a black mark on your record. Negative words can also become associated with groups, such as referring to Native Americans as savages.

How important is it for members of one country to speak the same language?

How should a society balance respect for individual cultures and a need for unity?

Language, Race & Ethnicity

The percentage of Americans who do not speak English at home has continued to increase over time.

90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 1990 English Not English

Language and Culture

Language is an important way to transmit culture. Through language children learn about their cultural identity.

Proverbs are one example of how culture is conveyed through words.A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. The early bird gets the worm.

What do these proverbs say about American culture?

What do these proverbs mean?Lower your voice and strengthen your argument (Lebanese proverb) "When the brothers fight to the death, a stranger inherits their father's estate. (African proverb) Flies never visit an egg that has no crack. (Chinese proverb)

African Proverb

Abafugibwa ngabo: atannagikwatamu ye agitenda obwangu.

Those who are ruled are like the shield: who never got hold of it, thinks it light. Those who don't rule think ruling is easy.

Maori Proverb

E moa i tangata ringa raupa.

Marry a man with blistered hands.

Mexican Proverb

Anda tu camino sin ayuda de vecino.

Walk your own road without the help of a neighbor.

To Summarize:

Language is a set of symbols, which allows people to communicate with each other (both verbal and nonverbal) Language can be a source of discrimination. Language is a common source of confusion, even among members of the same culture. Language is a vital means of transmitting culture.

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