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  1. NanetteDee's Avatar

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    #11

    Re: learning a second language means learning a new culture

    Quote Originally Posted by chill out View Post
    hi there,
    It has been said that learning a second language is a ' master key ' for learning a second culture. Based on your experience of learning English, What do you think? Is it true that learning a second language means learning a new culture? If yes, what are those experiences you went through? Do you have any specific experience that proves the given idea?

    Waiting to read your comments ..

    thanks ...
    Certainly, a language interprets and represents a culture. I am Russian and began learning English in a secondary school; in class, while learning new words we inevitably had to learn some facts of the realities of the English-speaking countries: Food, transport, education, spare time, health care, etc. Our texbooks were written this way: With lots of information of these countries. We had to read books of the classic English-speaking writers, newspapers; we were to watch movies and documentaries.
    When I moved to the USA a few years ago, my English was not very bright yet allowed me to function in simple situations. Only after I started naturally learning the specific words, terms, and expressions that represented the American -- and more so the local (state) lifestyle -- can I say that I am getting familiar with this culture -- through the learning of the language.

  2. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #12

    Re: learning a second language means learning a new culture

    To some extent, I agree. For example, in a social setting in the US it is very common to ask someone "What do you do?" (meaning "what is your occupation?") after first meeting them. In many other countries, such an inquiry is considered to be rude.

  3. SUDHKAMP's Avatar
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    #13

    Re: learning a second language means learning a new culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    To some extent, I agree. For example, in a social setting in the US it is very common to ask someone "What do you do?" (meaning "what is your occupation?") after first meeting them. In many other countries, such an inquiry is considered to be rude.
    In India also English gives you certain prerogatives such as you can have some fun with your elders, otherwise restricted in Hindi or any other language. It also brings you at par with other person, else you are supposed to just answer what the elder person is asking.
    Free conversation occurs usually in English language naturally.


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    #14

    Smile Re: learning a second language means learning a new culture

    I totally agreed. For example to lear idioms you need to know a little of the country culture otherwise you can misinterpret everything. To really master another language is necesary to learn sayings, slangs and other terms used in the colloquial speech.

  4. SUDHKAMP's Avatar
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    #15

    Re: learning a second language means learning a new culture

    Quote Originally Posted by africa79 View Post
    I totally agreed. For example to lear idioms you need to know a little of the country culture otherwise you can misinterpret everything. To really master another language is necesary to learn sayings, slangs and other terms used in the colloquial speech.
    Welcome to the forums Africa 79. This is your first posting in the forums and a nice one. You can join us all at International cafe, where all the regulars meet and have fund alongwith learning the English language.

  5. NanetteDee's Avatar

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    #16

    Re: learning a second language means learning a new culture

    Quote Originally Posted by africa79 View Post
    I totally agreed. For example to lear idioms you need to know a little of the country culture otherwise you can misinterpret everything. To really master another language is necesary to learn sayings, slangs and other terms used in the colloquial speech.
    Exactly! And by learning the sayings, slang, etc, one obtains the real cultural comprehension. A small example. I was always slightly offended by people calling me "kid". "Hey, kid!" "Com'mon, kid." I thought, "I am not a kid! I am a grown up person!" It was until I finally realized that the word, apart from its main meaning -- a child -- serves to express affection.

  6. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #17

    Re: learning a second language means learning a new culture

    Quote Originally Posted by africa79 View Post
    To really master another language is necesary to learn sayings, slangs and other terms used in the colloquial speech.
    Most definitely! I well remember the first time I took my husband to England, and a person approached him on the street and asked if he could "bum a fag." In British slang, this meant he wanted a cigarette. However, in AmE, "fag" is rude word used to describe a homosexual. You can imagine my hubby's reaction.....

  7. NanetteDee's Avatar

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    #18

    Re: learning a second language means learning a new culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    Most definitely! I well remember the first time I took my husband to England, and a person approached him on the street and asked if he could "bum a fag." In British slang, this meant he wanted a cigarette. However, in AmE, "fag" is rude word used to describe a homosexual. You can imagine my hubby's reaction.....
    I had no idea that a "fag" was used to describe a homosexuality. In fact, I never heard such a word before. And, as it often happens in life -- those little coincidences! -- right on the next day after I read the above post, I happened to sort of pariticipate in a small talk at work. Two ladies discussed a man's new shirt. One said, "That blue embroidering..." The other picked up, "Yes, doesn't it look a bit faggish?"
    I chortled and thought to myself -- "How useful my UsingEnglish site is..."

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