In a word culture and language are inseparable

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Unformatted text preview: In a word, culture and language are inseparable. Metaphors about language and culture Some people say that language is the mirror of culture, in the sense that people can see a culture through its language. Another metaphor used to symbolize language and culture is the iceberg. The visible part is the language, with a small part of culture; the greater part, lying hidden beneath the surface, is the invisible aspect of culture. This author’s understanding of language and culture is conveyed through the following three new metaphors. From a philosophical view: language + culture -> a living organism blood flesh Language and culture makes a living organism; language is flesh, and culture is blood. Without culture, language would be dead; without language, culture would have no shape. 328 ELT Journal Volume 54/4 October 2000 © Oxford University Press 2000 articles welcome From a communicative view: language + culture swimming skill water -> swimming (communication) Communication is swimming, language is the swimming skill, and culture is water. Without language, communication would remain to a very limited degree (in very shallow water); without culture, there would be no communication at all. From a pragmatic view: language + culture -> transportation traffic light vehicle (communication) Communication is like transportation: language is the vehicle and culture is traffic light. Language makes communication easier and faster; culture regulates, sometimes promotes and sometimes hinders communication....
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