The importance of culture


80% of a language is application as in communicating, and that part is fun.

Just the reality of being to in a split second switch to a new language and be able to speak with millions of other people is awesome.

Whether we like it or not part of language is theory and structure which in my opinion totals to 20% of the overall effort when learning a language.

Going through the structure of a language can at time be a little frustrating, I’m not talking about doing endless grammar drills, and filling in blanks, etc. That’s not only overly boring it’s just a plain old waste of time. But to become fluent in any language we do need to understand and practice basic tenses, structure, how to formulate questions etc. That’s the tedious part of a language, here’s when it’s helpful to have something extra (apart from the a fore mentioned reasons) that will motivate you, that’s where culture plays a part.

If you’re interested (or fascinated) by the culture of the language you’re learning it will exponentially help your progress in your language acquisition path. It can be anything about the culture, perhaps the music, food, landmarks, etc. Even if you’re not directly interested in some aspect of the culture there are for sure things that can pique your interest.

Speaking from personal experience, to be honest I never really was interested in the French culture, I know most people are but I just wasn’t and still am not. I wasn’t awed when I saw the Eiffel Tower, I didn’t really like the Paris, I do like the south of France, but in general the country as whole just didn’t really inspire me.

However I’m fascinated by the 14th century and France plays a huge part in that. when reading about it France is involved in pretty much everything, when I’m reading through that point in history I’m imagining it exactly how it happened and you need to the language in order to really picture exactly how things transpired.

I could go on about how this little thing really helped me a lot, and heightened my desire to master French, but what I hope to illustrate is the importance of really immersing yourself not only in the language but also in the culture.

Find romanticism in the landmarks, the art, the music…a language in most countries cases was born from within the culture, get involved in that even in a small way and the language will come much easier.


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© 2016 by Manuel Schot

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