Learning culture is useful (was: Re: basic vocab)
|From:||David Crowell <dpctrdk@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, September 19, 2000, 1:58|
It is possible to learn languages without the culture, but language acquisition
is much more effective
when the culture is leaned.
I took two years of Japanese in college.
However, I didn't pay attention to the culture aspect of the class or of the
But some of the aspects of the grammar and the Japanese translations of American
study still confused me to some degree.
I finally got to Japan, knowing enough of the language to get by.
When I first needed to get someone's attention,
I decided to use a Japanese translation of -Sir- or -Madam (Sensei)
becuase of the other languages I actually use such a translation to
politely get a person's attentions: i.e. Spanish, Catalan, French, English.
(señor, senyor, monsieur, Sir)
But to me it didn't sound right (because I have never seen it done like that
with Japanese in writing or in speech).
After awhile, I realized that the Japanese got the attention of others
by saying -sumimasen (a word I learned for -Excuse me- to interrupting others).
I felt so stupid (Homer Simpons -doh!)
Haviing experienced Japanese culture first hand,
a lot of the confusions I had with the language was clearned up.
Yu Ha Lee wrote:
> I once had a psychology major tell me that he learned nothing about
> Japanese culture from high school Japanese, and that he didn't believe
> learning language in general taught you anything about culture. I was
> just boggled. Surely he learned something and didn't realize it? Or did
> he really not pay attention?