Culture

Travel Forums Europe Culture

1. Posted by AdamFrankie (Budding Member 12 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

How could we possible understand the culture of different people without understanding their language?

2. Posted by Kathrin_E (Travel Guru 363 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

The answer is, in my eyes, that you can't. The language is the key to any culture.

3. Posted by AdamFrankie (Budding Member 12 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Well there need to be a way out. :(:(

4. Posted by Kathrin_E (Travel Guru 363 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

There is: Learn the language. ;-)

5. Posted by sanasarfraz (First Time Poster 1 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

I think by spending maximum time with the locals and by attending their cultural festivals gives you a good idea about the culture.

6. Posted by Old Man At (Budding Member 19 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

I think you first need to clarify what you mean by culture, as it can have different annotations to various people.

A lot can be learned from observing people. Do their lives revolve inside or outside the house. Are they closed or engaging. How do they dress, pray, eat. Do the children give up their seats to elders.

Another viewpoint may mean looking at their festivals, religions, philosophies. How big is the role in their lives.

Their art, their architecture and their crafts are also a part of their culture. None of these things require a language, otherwise anthropologist would be sincerely underpaid.

7. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1061 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

I agree wholeheartedly with Old Man At.

8. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 501 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

I'm not much of a linguist so I'd suggest that although Language is undoubtedly a benefit, observation can be pretty effective.
If you're only in a big City for a few days then even speaking the language won't make you suddenly understand the culture, whereas a few weeks in that city will generally be much more effective.

9. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 447 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

>How could we possible understand the culture of different people without understanding their language?

Observation can certainly tell you a great deal about cultural practices and behaviours, even if you do't have the language.

But to understand any culture you not only need to be pretty fluent in the language but also to spend considerable time living within the culture itself (not just visiting).

[ Edit: Edited on 17-Nov-2018, at 03:14 by leics2 ]

10. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 613 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

I think there is a difference between learning about a culture and understanding a culture. When you travel you can learn about culture but to understand you really need to live it If you want to learn about culture of a region then try to find culturally immersive activities and I don't mean the mass market tourist shows. Many places have people proud of their culture and they enjoy making a living of showcasing their food, art and way of life so find things run by locals with local involvement.