The Influence of Language on Culture and Vice Versa

9 September 2016

Through complex analysis, the most imperative concepts that bring them into a mutual symbiosis involve the act of using both as a utensil for accomplishing a specific task, a technique to unite fellow minds to advance themselves for the benefit of the species, and the social stratification of human beings based upon incomes derived from their crafts. These two ideas are even highly connected in how the different languages/cultures prioritize their duties on a daily basis. When meshed in unison, these various interpretations are what primarily allow language and culture to be mutually conjoined.

For the most part, the topic that gets conjured up quite often in medial discussions is how both tongues and acculturations are essentially devices used to get any general assignment finished. In Orwell’s book 1984, Syme converses with Winston saying, “’ don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? ’” Basically, Big Brother is reinventing the English language to practically eliminate any rebellious thoughts and even the characteristics that make humans people: their reflections, memories, and emotions.

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To add on to this, since culture is mostly derived from these traits, the culture becomes almost entirely Duran 2 negligible because the language has been severely shortened to only the most instinctive of words such as good, crimestop, and paper. In a similar approach, David Sedaris of the book Me Talk Pretty One Day recollects his tale of taking a French class in Paris, exclaiming that although he loves “leafing through medical textbooks devoted to severe dermatological conditions, the hobby is beyond the reach of [his] French vocabulary. Since Sedaris did not have the method to convey his true interests, he could not get a true grasp of the French language in its entirety, allotting him into the permanent state of a foreigner rather than a Parisian. From a varied perspective, Mark Pagel in one of his discourses places two different hypothetical scenarios. In the first arrangement, one man drops his finished arrowheads in front of two staff makers hoping that they give him some completed arrows, but instead gets his work stolen because the two men don’t know what they wanted from him.

On the other hand, if all three craftsmen shared a common language, the first man would ask the other two men for some finished arrows in exchange for some of his tips. Within these two nuances lies the fact that language can unite a multitude of cultures for a distinct cause. This ideology is even prominent in the lecture “The History of the English Language – Concisely” where circa 950 A. D. , Angles, Saxons, and Jutes brought words such as street, inch, and mile while partaking in their conquest of the British Isles.

Essentially, these group’s notions of transportation were expressed to English natives in a sense that they can tell them that they are already dispersed across the land mass and should cooperate with them if they want to survive. On a grand scale, language and culture as tools can be applied to unite fellow minds to bring about larger advances than if they were independent. Case in point, Bill Bryson states how the English language “For the airlines of 157 nations (out of 168 in the world), it is Duran 3 the agreed international language of discourse. (12) He even goes beyond this by quoting one of the founders of a truck-making venture: “’It puts us all at an equal disadvantage. ’” To reinterpret it, the fact that enormous companies are using one common vernacular so that nobody can be better suited towards making negotiations than another facilitates the cooperation of businessmen from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. Following this continuity, Malcolm Gladwell locates a school in New York known as KIPP where “84 percent of the students are performing at or above their grade level” because this organization “has succeeded by taking the idea of cultural legacies seriously. (294) In this new system, the administrators use the philosophy of attending school year-round from Asian cultures such as China, Japan, and Korea to enhance the knowledge of students from any background. To reiterate, KIPP has applied an idea from a different culture to not only enhance the language of the middle-school pupils, but also their general abilities to learn and grasp any concept given to them. This theme even recurs on the opposite end of the spectrum in a reflection from Syme about Newspeak: “In fact, there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking-not needing to think. ”(Orwell 53) When everyone lacks the capability to express themselves, no further advances to civilization can be made, and culture is expunged from the mind. Still, where language and culture can conjoin ethnicities, they can also segregate them into separate chains of command. Since mankind has been able to grasp the tenet of power, over the millennia, it has begun to winnow its own people by job, income, intelligence, and actions. Within this social pyramid, language becomes more protrusive at the top while culture is dominant at the lowest stratums.

In Japan, “A speaker of Japanese must equally wend his way through a series of Duran 4 linguistic levels appropriate to the social position of the participants. ”(Bryson 18) In a Japanese speaker’s head, he/she must constantly think about who has more power than another before he/she can utter a single word. Hence, their culture is embedded into their language without any hope of diffusing from it. Culture is further infused into language when Syme tells Winston that “The proles are not human beings. (Orwell 52) Earlier in the book, Orwell describes how all citizens are tested at the age of 16 and those who get fairly high scores become part of the Outer and Inner Party while those who do not perform so well remain proles for life. Examining further, Syme’s remark reveals that this totalitarian society singles out different kinds of people based on their culture that was acquired through language. This kind of situation moreover occurs when a Colombian co-pilot tells Air Traffic Control about a dire emergency: “That’s right to one-eight-zero on the heading and, ah, we’ll try once again.

We’re running out of fuel. ”(Gladwell 225) Because he did not want to disrespect their authority, Klotz, the co-pilot, handled a life-or-death scenario as if it was completely negligible, known as “’mitigated speech’”. (226) This inutility of commanding to higher authority was placed within him through his Colombian heritage. To sum up, language and culture are deeply interconnected in the way they are used as tools, as a source of unity, and a way to delaminate the human species.

So long as there have spawned words to describe a specific topic, there will correlate a culture that has influenced it based on its varying behaviors, beliefs, races, and customs. These two grand concepts as well as their subcategories shall indefinitely modify each other and are what have directly brought about monumental advancements to humans and shall endure until their demise. Duran 5 Works Cited Brady, Tanya. “The History of the English Language-Concisely. ” A. P.

English Language and Composition 427. Tahquitz High School. Hemet, 28 August 2012. Bryson, Bill. The Mother Tongue- English And How It Got That Way. London: Harper Collins, 1991. Gladwell, Malcolm. Outliers The Story of Success. London: Penguin Books, 2009. Orwell, George. 1984. New York: New American Library, 1977. Pagel, Mark. “How Language Transformed Humanity. ” TED Conferences LLC. New York, 01 August 2011. Sedaris, David. Me Talk Pretty One Day. Paris: Back Bay Books, 2001.

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