The Importance of Language and Culture
There are two forms of communications–verbal and non-verbal. Nonverbal communication is usually understood as the process of communication through sending and receiving wordless messages. Language is not the only source of communication, there are other means also. Messages can be communicated through gestures and touch, by body language or posture, by facial expression and eye contact. Meaning can also be communicated through object or artifacts (such as clothing, hairstyles or architecture), symbols, and icons (or graphics).
Speech contains nonverbal elements known as paralanguage, including voice quality, rate, pitch, volume, and speaking style, as well as prosodic features such as rhythm, intonation and stress. Dance is also regarded as a form of nonverbal communication.
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Verbal communication, nonverbal communication, and interpersonal communications all play an important role in different languages and cultures. Sign languages and writing are generally understood as forms of verbal communication, as both make use of words — although like speech, both may contain paralinguistic elements and often occur alongside nonverbal messages.
Nonverbal communication can occur through any sensory channel — sight, sound, smell, touch or taste. Nonverbal communication is important as: “When we speak (or listen), our attention is focused on words rather than body language. But our judgment includes both. An audience is simultaneously processing both verbal and nonverbal cues. Body movements are not usually positive or negative in and of themselves; rather, the situation and the message will determine the appraisal” (Givens, 2000, p. 4).
Hair color, gender, race, origin, clothing, appearance, and personality send nonverbal interactions during communication. Communication can be judged many different ways and that is why it is important to understand the different types of communication. Communication failures often result in lack of knowledge of communicating skills. A lot of people do not know or understand what kind of communication they are develop with their appearance. Verbal interactions are not used quite as frequently or not noticed as much.
On average, to a moderate degree, women are better at nonverbal communication than are men (Hall, 1979). Verbal communications include body language, facial expressions, eye contact, paralanguage, environment, and the use of silence and time. Several thinks take part in the importance of communication. The world revolves because of communication. Without education to teach us how to communicate we would not be able to resolve important matters in everyday society and at home. Children learn culture through their parents, because they are the primary people in thier lives to teach them how to talk.
That is why when children are born they speak and communicate like their family, environment, and origin. It is very important to teach children what communication means rather than just teaching them how to talk. The knowledge of understanding communication is important to be successful at communicating. Language and culture play a huge role in education. Without education the world would be very unorganized. We would not know how to even sign our name or manage our finances. It is important to learn different languages so you can communicate with other origins when needed.
You may have to communicate with someone who speaks another language at your local grocer, the bank, the school, the courthouse. There are a wide range of languages in which people speak, and sometimes just because they live in the same country as you it does not mean they know how to speak the same language. When people encounter that can’t speak the same language, verbal communication is the only other way to communicate. Verbal communication often leads to failure to communicate between to origins, because they both communicate differently verbal as well.
Language is more than just a means of communication. It influences our culture and even our thought processes. Language is arguably the most important component of culture because much of the rest of it is normally transmitted orally. It is impossible to understand the subtle nuances and deep meanings of another culture without knowing its language well. Different languages are easier to learn at a younger age before completely understanding a first language. Trying to learn a second language can be difficult for an adult, because the language they speak can confuse them while trying to learn.
Different languages come from different backgrounds and when crossed can lead to great misunderstanding between the two languages. Anthropologists have found that learning about how people categorize things in their environment provides important insights into the interests, concerns, and values of their culture(Oneil, 2006). Language determines the way a person reviews the world. One’s culture determines the way one processes information and how one copes with reality. Concepts and objects have frames of reference that differ from culture to culture.
The meaning of a word partly depends on the culture’s historical relation to the concept or object described. Different cultures see the world differently. Different cultures have different beliefs and values and these are expressed in their language, whether it be verbal or non-verbal. Many misunderstandings occur in intercultural communications because many are unaware of these differences. It is important for one to learn the differences of various cultures for one to understand one’s own identity. It is through knowing about others that one learns what is truly important to oneself.
In our American culture, new skills are typically taught and learned through verbal instruction (Slobin, 1979). In some cultures, new skills are learned through nonverbal observation. A distinction has also been made between cultures that encourage independent learning and those that encourage cooperative learning (McLeod, 1994). The power of language to reflect culture and influence thinking was first proposed by an American linguist and anthropologist, Edward Sapir (1884–1939), and his student, Benjamin Whorf (1897–1941).
The Sapir–Whorf hypothesis stated that the way we think and view the world is determined by our language (Anderson & Lightfoot, 2002; Crystal, 1987; Hayes, Ornstein, & Gage, 1987). Instances of cultural language differences are evidenced in that some languages have specific words for concepts whereas other languages use several words to represent a specific concept. For example, the Arabic language includes many specific words for designating a certain type of horse or camel (Crystal, 1987).
To make such distinctions in English, where specific words do not exist, adjectives would be used preceding the concept label, such as quarter horse or dray horse. Cultural differences have also been noted in the ways in which language is used pragmatically. In our American culture, new skills are typically taught and learned through verbal instruction (Slobin, 1979). In some cultures, new skills are learned through nonverbal observation. A distinction has also been made between cultures that encourage independent learning and those that encourage cooperative learning (McLeod, 1994).
Differences in the social roles of adults and children also influence how language is used. Home and school contexts may represent different cultures, subcultures, or both and may influence language acquisition in noticeable ways. Nonverbal cues (e. g. , facial expression) and contextual cues (e. g. , shared experience) have different communicative roles in different cultures (Kaiser & Rasminsky, 2003). People develop their language and culture as a child. It is important to understand different language and cultures to be able to communicate with different people from all around the world.
Conflict is a part of most every interpersonal relationship. Managing conflict, then, is important if the relationship is to be long lasting and rewarding. Conflict is an expressed struggle between at least two interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals, scarce resources, and interference from the other party in achieving their goals. Two sides must communicate about a problem for there to be a conflict. They must also have different perceptions or ideas to create a conflict. The most important thing with an interpersonal relationship is to know how to handle the situation.
Avoiding a conflict can cause communication damage and lead to greater problems. It is best that both individuals discuss their differences in a civilized manner. Conflicts can be resolved by trying to understand the other person’s point of view. Criticism and judgment of others only makes the conflict harder to resolve. Communicating openly and honest, asking for opinions, expressing interest, expressing a willingness to listen, and focusing attention on the task are ways to improve a personal conflict with someone.
Emotional intelligence represents an ability to validly reason with emotions and to use emotions to enhance thought. Perceiving emotions, using emotions, understanding emotions, and managing emotions play a big role in emotional intelligence. Perceiving emotions is the ability to detect and decipher emotions in faces, pictures, voices, and cultural artifacts. Perceiving emotions represents a basic aspect of emotional intelligence, as it makes all other processing of emotional information possible (Salovey P and Grewal D, 2005). Using emotions is the bility to harness emotions to facilitate various cognitive activities, such as thinking and problem solving. The emotionally intelligent person can capitalize fully upon his or her changing moods in order to best fit the task at hand (Salovey P and Grewal D, 2005). Understanding emotions is the ability to comprehend emotion language and to appreciate complicated relationships among emotions. For example, understanding emotions encompasses the ability to be sensitive to slight variations between emotions, and the ability to recognize and describe how emotions evolve over time (Salovey P and Grewal D, 2005).
Managing emotions is the ability to regulate emotions in both ourselves and in others. Therefore, the emotionally intelligent person can harness emotions, even negative ones, and manage them to achieve intended goals ( Salovey P and Grewal D, 2005). All these roles help form emotional intelligence and play a part in successful communication. Even though these aspects all play an important role in emotional intelligence, for most people, emotional intelligence (EQ) is more important than one’s intelligence (IQ) in attaining success in their lives and careers.
As individuals our success and the success of the profession today depend on our ability to read other people’s signals and react appropriately to them. Therefore, each one of us must develop the mature emotional intelligence skills required to better understand, empathize and negotiate with other people — particularly as the economy has become more global. Otherwise, success will elude us in our lives and careers (Bressert S. , 2009). Five major categories of emotional intelligence skills are of value to professional accountants ( Bressert S, 2009).
Self-awareness, self regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills are all part of the five major categories of emotional intelligence. Verbal and nonverbal communication, self perception, emotional intelligence, cultural differences, and conflicts are all very important in understand different languages and cultures. Being able to communicate effectively with different cultures has almost became a requirement in today’s society to be able to live successfully. Many different languages and cultures express themselves differently.
The most important thing in understand the different cultures is knowing how to communicate with anyone and everyone whom you may come in contact with in your life. Understanding different people and the way they commincate, and all the different types of communication can make a huge difference in communication efforts. Language is obviously a vital tool. Not only is it a means of communicating thoughts and ideas, but it forges friendships, and economic relationships (Kilgour D, 1999). Language, of course, is knowledge, and in our world today knowledge is one of the key factors in competitiveness.
Brains and knowledge are what create the prosperity and growth we tend to take for granted. In an advanced industrial society in an increasingly interdependent world, the knowledge of other languages becomes indispensable. Just think of how the advent of the Internet has changed our lives. For the last few years, millions of people across the world, who share common interests, are able to communicate with each other and exchange ideas. Not only are they able to do this due to the various technological advances, but also because they share a common language.