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Thread: How languages reveal cultural identity, or vice versa..?

 
  1. #1
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    Default How languages reveal cultural identity, or vice versa..?

    It´s really interesting how culture and language are closely connected...
    For example, in Chinese there´s no an ´individual subject´ like ´I´ ,´je´or ´yo´...because Chinese people don´t think of themselves as individuals, but as groups...
    In most African languages the word ´foreigner´ is translated as ´mzungu´ which actually means ´western white-skin foreigner´, because those are ´foreigners´ to them..., the term ´mzungu´ doesn´t apply to the Hindu or the Chinese, who share with them the every day life...

    There´s one theory that says that Language determines Culture, or is it the other way around..?

    What do you think?

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    Senior Member Veronica's Avatar
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    But "I" in Chinese is "wo"...or not?
    I saw many phrases using it as I...

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    Default yeah, but

    they don´t use it as much as we do. They have the ´wo´ but they usually try to speak as a group... You´ll find the translations for many words, like the individual subject, but they don´t use them in the same contexts or with the same natural frequency we do.
    I have some English>Chinese and viceversa stuff if you´re interested...

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    Hola Ana Laura! I have always found this issue to be really interesting because of the huge variety of languages in the world, so I would like to recommend a book for anyone interested in the idea of identity related to language. It is called "The Poetics of Relation" by Édouard Glissant, a poet/philosopher from the Antilles. Although the book is focused on one's cultural identity in relation to territory and contact with other cultures, he has an interesting section on language that might be interesting for this debate.

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    Default thank you sarab!

    I´ll try to get it, I love all stuff related to cultural identity...

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Is really language and culture two different things? I mean, I always thought of the first as a seed from which the second one grows. But, also, as the second is modified by time, the first one suffers many changes that keep it alive. However, there seems to be something before language from which all expression flows.

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