In a word language and culture as different as they

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

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 commendatory 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

Ask a homework question - tutors are online