The paper “ Language and Culture’ s Influence on Perception” is an intriguing variant of an annotated bibliography on culture. Language is a tool of communication and passing ideas or information from the source, through a medium, to the recipient. Therefore, I think the idea has to be formulated or the information has to be existent first before one can communicate it by using some language. With direct response, I am of the view that language has nothing to do with what one thinks. The article mentions Whorfianism as a philosophical theory that holds that there is a direct relationship between the number of words known and the range of ideas that one can have.
It also talks about the scientific view of language which disregards Whorfianism. Scientifically, which I agree with, language continues to change with words getting different meanings from one culture or society to another. Therefore, to some extent, it is actually culture and ways of thinking that shape a language, register, and ways of communication. I would like to think of it by the basics that a child has ideas depicted by the things he or she does and their reactions to different aspects.
This happens despite the fact that a child’ s language is not developed and communication is still primitive. However, as the child grows, experience with the environment and family culture enhances their communication and use of language. I conclusively think that knowing many words only improves a person’ s communication and provides better ways of communicating an idea but does not absolutely influence thoughts and idea development. Wenying, J. (2001). Handling culture bumps. ELT Journal, 55(4). 382-390. Not unless one has lived long enough within a second culture to understand it comprehensively, culture bumps, like Wenying (2001) refers to them, are unavoidable.
I am of the view that all that matters is how one responds to and handles these bumps. The author describes them as unexpected or uncomfortable situations of interacting with cultures. In my experience, most culture bumps are evident in social interactions like greetings and sharing class sessions with people from different cultures as well as professionally at workplaces. Basically, the point here is that much of cultural bumps occur in cases where the interactions occur a time period that is long enough.
There is, thus, the essence of time in the interactions. It is also important to note the in essence, when people from different cultures interact it is actually the core feature of their respective cultures that are interacting. There are particular factors that characterize culture and I concur with the author on power distance, collectivism and individualism, time and its control, equality and opportunity, and perception of possession. However, I differ in the aspect of intra-group harmony because I think that it is a factor that only applies to particular cultures like Korean and Chinese just to mention a few.
When cultures interact, the people have the responsibility of determining points of convergence and establishing universally accepted modes of interactions. I reflect that interaction is a result of interdependence and thus desire to achieve a common goal.
Fernandez, R. (2012). The “Where Are You Really From” Power Dynamic. Racialicious, 1. Retrieved 2 October 2013 from the Racialicious database.
Hall, E. T., and Hall, M. R. (1990). Understanding cultural differences. Boston: Intercultural Press.
Hartshome, J. (2009). Does Language Shape What We Think? Scientific American, 1. 1-6. Retrieved 2 October 2013 from Scientific American database.
Jandt, F. E. (2010). Culture’s influence on perception. In An Introduction to intercultural communication: identities in a global community. (pp. 59-76). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Katan, D. (1999). Translating cultures: An introduction to translators, interpreters, and mediators. Manchester: Saint Jerome Publishing.
Liu, S., Gallois, C., Volcic, Z., and Gallois, C. (2010). Introducing intercultural communication: global cultures and contexts. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Wenying, J. (2001). Handling culture bumps. ELT Journal, 55(4). 382-390.
Williams, R. (2005). Culture and Materialism, London: Verso.