This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: In a word, language and culture, as different as they are, form a whole.
Cultural content in specific
language items Survey design Many linguists explore the relationship between language and culture.
Nida (1998: 29) holds the view that ‘Language and culture are two
symbolic systems. Everything we say in language has meanings,
designative or sociative, denotative or connotative. Every language
form we use has meanings, carries meanings that are not in the same
sense because it is associated with culture and culture is more extensive
than language.’ People of different cultures can refer to different things
while using the same language forms. For example, when one says lunch,
an Englishman may be referring to hamburger or pizza, but a Chinese
man will most probably be referring to steamed bread or rice. The word
dog in English, and the character gou in Chinese, refer to the same kind
of animal. However, most English people associate dog with man’s best
friend, a good companion, being kept as a pet, together with many
idioms, such as lucky dog. Most Chinese people, by
contrast, associate gou with watchdogs, defending the household from
thieves, a noisy animal, together with such derogatory idioms as gou tui
zi (‘hired thug’). Being culturally loaded, English words and their
Chinese translations (or vice versa) are seldom equivalents, and often
give rise to different associations...
View Full Document
- Winter '13