Language acquisition is a lengthy and strenuous process. It is much more than just learning grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Among other considerations, culture plays a huge role in making your language study effective. Research clearly shows that there is an inextricable link between language and culture.
The two concepts are so intertwined that it makes little sense to study a language without considering the cultural context in which it was conceived and is used. Let’s break this down to show what this role is about and why it is so important.
Culture and linguistic diversity
Language does not exist in a vacuum. It is an ever-evolving mode of communication. Its development occurs in a specific cultural context where it is influenced by multiple factors. When new words, phrases, and collocations are generated, that never happens by accident. Language development reflects the diversity of local cultures, values, and traditions. These factors work together to influence the ways in which language develops its structure, vocabulary, and other non-verbal means of communication.
It is not easy to come to grips with all the cultural nuances and intricacies. That’s why it is a good idea to use professional translation services when you need to translate your content into another language accurately. To find a reliable service, make sure you go through objective and reputable PickWriters reviews. These reviews assess the pros and cons of the top services, and they help you identify the best match for your needs.
Sociolinguistic competence and communication
Culture is also key to understanding language. The term sociolinguistic competence refers to our ability to use language in a way that is relevant and appropriate in a given context. When we are able to demonstrate it, we do it by taking into account cultural norms and nuances, social norms and hierarchies, power relationships, and other important factors. When we fail to do so, we risk making multiple faux pas that may damage our reputation.
As a learner, you should not just learn the language per se but the entire context in which it is used. That means learning the cultural environment, idioms, and their etymology, acceptable and unacceptable behaviors, and others to avoid miscommunication and become a natural speaker.
Identity and language
Language is also about societal and individual identities. It unites people who refer to themselves as a nation. In fact, common language is one of the main attributes of a modern nation-state. At the individual level, it is related to a person’s identity. We might speak the same language, but we all have our unique ways and styles of using it.
That’s what makes us different from one another. And that’s what we all want because we don’t want to be perceived as just identical members of our society.
Improved cognitive abilities
Language acquisition also paves the way for immersing in the related culture. This is an important process that facilitates the development of our cognitive skills and abilities. Multiple surveys show that when we learn and speak multiple languages, we are able to grasp and digest new concepts and information quicker and more efficiently. It also aids our problem-solving skills and creative thinking capacities.
Language acquisition is a brain training tool that also has a bearing on improved empathy and emotional intelligence. Exposure to new languages and cultures broadens our worldview, and it makes us more inclusive, accepting, and tolerant.
Language acquisition should never take place in isolation. It should happen in the context of studying the culture and context in which language is used. Language mirrors the cultural, economic, and social realities, and it is impossible to become a fluent and natural speaker unless you are familiar with all these concepts.
When you augment your linguistic study with the study of local culture and context, you also understand the ways in which they affect the development and usage of language. They also help boost your cognitive, creative, and emotional intelligence skills.
Daniel Soto is an experienced writer, popular blogger, and professional linguist. As a researcher, he has spent many years exploring linkages and correlations between culture and language in different contexts and countries. He has come up with fascinating findings and conclusions, which he often shares online.