Learning a foreign language

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Task 10: Essay

“Learning a foreign language is more than just words and grammar. It means discovering the culture which reflects the way a different group of people see the world and learning and value it”. Discuss.

Learning a language is party discovering a new world. To learn how to understand this new environment it is necessary to discover the culture that involves the country and thepeople that live in it.
Every people are products of the environment of their society based on ethical and cultural rules. When someone goes to another country to learn another language they discover that not only change the language from one country to another but also there is a lot of things that are different between their own country and the country they are visiting.

This essay is goingto be focus above all on the language and the culture but also on other topics related. To start up, it is going to talk about the communication that is the basic characteristic for which the humans communicate between them. Then, it will be exposed some examples of cultural behaviour and, later, the essay it will be centred in why it is important to learn a foreign language, how to do tounderstand its culture and how to be able to value it; and what this knowledge entails. Finally it will be examined the advantages that it has.

To talk about language and culture it is necessary to make reference to communication. This is the most important characteristic of the human beings since it is the feature that distinguishes humans from animals, apart from the speech ability. When learning alanguage communication is crucial. The human being can use several types of communication at the same time: the sight, the hearing, the taste, the touch and the sense of smell. But in a conversation the speech is a fundamental role because it is the most important tool to communicate and express the human’s feelings.

So, once have talked about communication it is possible to relate to languageand culture. On the one hand, language is a system of signs used for communicate with other humans. Moreover, it is the element that differentiates the different countries of the world. Normally, in each country it is spoken a different language as for example: in England they speak English, in Spain it is spoken Spanish; or in France, French. But sometimes some countries share the same language asthe case of English that it is spoken in America, England, Canada and Australia. So if the language doesn’t differ all this countries there must be something that do it, and this element is the culture. However even speaking the same language, there can be lots of misunderstandings between them. This is because although they are able to combine properly linguistic skills they have to do it insidethe specific set of cultural rules that governs each culture. On the other hand, culture is defined as the set of ways of lives and customs of a specific place and group of people. That’s why every nation has their particular traditions, customs, habits, beliefs, or religion between others. This factor is almost even more important than the language because if we know the language but we don’tknow the culture of the country it is going to be impossible to understand their ways of live.

In order to understand better this, it is going to be exposed some examples of different cultures. For instance, in the Muslim culture people have to live in accordance with the rules that religion imposes. That involves they have to pray at least five times a day in direction to the Mecca which is theholy city for them. They also have to pilgrimage to the Mecca no less than once in their lives and women have to cover their head with a shawl for not being rude. Furthermore, during the fasting period of Ramadan they are not allowed to drink, eat, smoke or having sex relationships since the sunrise to the sunset and what is more, they have to give some part of their salary to the poorest people...
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