Culture and Language essay
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Culture influences language and creates words that people use. It is from these cultures that people know appropriate words to use in communication (Franz 90). The deaf, for instance, use sign language which all people from all the world spheres understand. That is why they can interact freely without any limitation. Written language uses visual symbols of the spoken language but still requires syntactic rules that govern production of meaning from sequence of words. Sometimes semantically, same words can mean different things to different people. The people’s culture influences the different language meanings.
Young people like to decode language code that only they understand (Krasmuch 78). Common words among the high school students are “fired out” meaning that a relationship ended; “I need cheese” means that I need money; “he was baked” means that he was on drugs; “they had an E” means they had sex. These are just but a few words that students speak to alienate themselves from the common use of language.
There are different ways of communicating. Only the intended recipient can decode the meaning of the communicated information (Mencken 65). The use of idioms like “I found the cat in the wardrobe” means you found something secretive. “Her fridge must be filled with many cheese” means she is gaining weight. Imperatives like “the food has a sweet aroma” signify hunger. Language users play around with words according to their preference. The African Americans, for example, tend to speak differently from white people in America. This has a basis in racism and a need to feel a member of a certain niche. Instead of saying “I am not going to school” black Americans will say, “I ain’t going to school”. Black Americans shorten the word mama to ma.
Language generation gap exists in linguistics. While speaking to elderly people, there is a requirement that young people must be polite and humble (Smith 103). At home, my grandparents speak differently to us from the way they speak to our parents. Speaking to us, the language grandparents use is tender and has a cuddling feeling. In contrast, their talk to the parents is serious and with a stern tone. Families have a language code which they use, and ours is no different. At home, we refer to bans as egg cakes, because we bake them into the shape of an egg. The millionaires’ ranch refers to the garage.
Christianity also influences language use. A person earns respect at home when he or she refrains from using abusive language. Respect and politeness are therefore qualities that people should inculcate to ensure effective communication in a language universally understood.