The Cultural Context of Language

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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. N... ... middle of paper ... ...rom http://www.usaid.gov/zimbabwe Languages Zimbabwee languages. (n.d.). spoken language . Retrieved May 1, 2014, from https://www.ethnologue.com /country/ZW/languages Zim Diaspora. (n.d.). Zim Diaspora. Retrieved May 3, 2014, from http://www.zimdiaspora.com /index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8947:zimbabwe-to-recognise16-official-languages&catid=38:travel-tips&Itemid=18 Zimbabwe's Draft Charter Proposes 16 Official Languages, up From Three. (n.d.).VOA. Retrieved May 3, 2014, from http://www.voazimbabwe.com/content/zimbabwe-to-have-16-official-languages-163199346/1477040.html CONSTITUTION OF ZIMBABWE . (n.d.).www.swradioafrica.com. Retrieved May 3, 2014, from http://www.swradioafrica.com/Documents/Final%20draft%20Constitution%2025%20January%202013.pdf Law. (n.d.). GlobaLex. Retrieved May 3, 2014, from http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/zimbabwe.htm
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