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KodySmithson
Culture and Languages

I understand that with a language comes a country and a culture. But when i hear people say "OH I LOVE [some language] CULTURE" I'm a bit confused and bothered. there is a threshold that says "hey these are two separate cultures" when it's crossed. For example: I as an american can not really say I LOVE British culture; to an extent yes i can but the only differences between British and American culture are the accents and vocabulary. 

But It makes sense when a Japanese person LOVES, for example, Mexican culture, because they are quite distant. I just don't understand why people put so much emphasis on culture and barely put in the time to actually LEARN THE LANGUAGE. In my view I think people should spend 90% of the time on the actual language and 10% on the culture, IF they are for example learning German and they are Polish. 

And Americans who "love" Japanese culture would never just talk talk, and talk about the culture until you get annoyed, they would speak the language 65% of the time and learn the culture 35%. 

I'm not sure if anyone else agrees but what do you people think?

 

Aug 20, 2016 6:56 AM
Comments · 4
I think that the passion you hold towards a culture makes you want to learn that language. If you aren't interested in the culture, what's the point of learning the language? For example, I like a British actor so much that I never feel tired of learning English. :)
August 20, 2016
I think both are important, And what I mean by that is that understanding the culture
will make your understanding of the language much deeper, and make
you able to use the language as if you're a native speaker.

And to some extent I do not think we can separate
the culture and the language, in fact the concepts, are affected by the culture.

for example the word "Dog" when you say it in English, it point out to an animal.
And the same word when it says in Arabic like "كلب" it will point out to the same animal.

But the ideas about the same animal are different in theses languages,
in English dogs are friendly and they live with family and so on.

In Arabic is not the same, dogs are used to protect properties
but never conseders as pet that live inside the home.

The conclusion is that you learn more about the language
by knowing about the culture, but you can not learn the
language by just learning about the culture per se. 
August 20, 2016
Depends what you want to achieve. Someone might say they love Japanese culture because they watch Japanese shows and eat Japanese food but never want to actually travel to the actual country. And it's fine. And someone else will say they love Japanese culture because they do all of the above PLUS they would like to visit the country. And that is also fine. You can enjoy another country's culture without knowing the language or without even having the willingness to learn it. But of course! Learning the language gives you the extra info on the culture. Broadens your knowledge about it and makes you see more differences. My favourite example is that the English idiom goes - "from a frying pan into the fire", but the Polish equivalent goes - "from the the rain to under the gutter" (sorry, literal, translation). So... meaning the same, but different metaphors to achieve it. Analysing this kind of differences gives you a bigger insight into another culture ;)
September 19, 2016
@AsterCui I'm just about more than half fluent in German and have almost no interest in German culture. I'm motivated solely by the language because German is without a doubt a challenging language to get conversational in. I'm not saying that people who learn for the culture are blind and that I'm better because I study a language just for fun. It just confuses me why people look at a language JUST as a culture and not a system of communication along side the culture. 
August 21, 2016
KodySmithson
Language Skills
English, French, German, Russian
Learning Language
French, German, Russian