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The Cultural Context Of Language Essay

1301 words - 6 pages

Have you ever thought about the way in which we communicate with others? What meaning can you give a symbol, thought, word, or even a single gesture if it is unknown to you? The complexities of communicating with other cultures and people with different concepts of unknown views and symbols would be difficult to derive a meaning during the interaction. This paper will look at Zimbabwe’s cultural context defined by Edward T Hall’s context theories focusing on their main written and verbal languages in the country.
Edward T Hall’s was an Anthologist that had three theories: High / Low Communication Context, Monochronic and Polychronic time, and Conception of Time and Proxemics. High / Low Communication Context looks at the levels in which the individual or collective interacts between cultures. In 1976, Hall wrote Beyond Culture, and the book stated, “The information that surrounds an event and is inextricably bound up with the meaning of that event.” An example of High communication context would be a familiar group of people that has similar values, beliefs, and experiences. This group does not need high verbal communication or explicit explanations to communicate with each other due to their familiar nature to each other. The Meanings are inferred through non-verbal symbols, gestures, and an intimate knowledge of their culture. (The silent language, 1990,1981,1959)( The hidden dimension., 1992)( Beyond culture , 1976)
As to Low communication context, the less familiar group of people suffer from disassociation; the inherent separation of common values, beliefs, and experiences that is found in the tight niche group. The Meanings are not inferred through the non-verbal symbols, gestures, and intimate knowledge of each other. Now the need to explain each symbol, gesture, and inference to each person in the group taking it to an in dividual less personal group dynamic instead of the personal collective found it the tight familiar group. Example of this would be: “I will meet you at the store.”, “Meet me at my car.”, these sentences make no sense unless you have interment knowledge of “the” store I frequent, and the “Make / Model” of my car. The need to have that close bond is evident in one’s ability to add the personal information missing from the sentence told. (the other dimension of time, 1983)(The silent language, 1990,1981,1959)( The hidden dimension., 1992)( Beyond culture , 1976)
The Zimbabwe culture is a high-context society that relies on their history, status, relationships, and religion, to assign meaning to an event. The Zimbabwe people use vast information networks between family, friends, and associates. Their relationships tend to be close, personal, and well informed about the people who are important in their lives, thus giving the cultures experiences and inferences meanings to an event. The context of communication in their culture is conveyed by experiences and expectations; from influences drawn from that culture a few...

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