Wenying Jiang's Paper on Culture and Language

2270 Words Apr 24th, 2013 10 Pages
The relationship between culture and language Wenying Jiang

This paper discusses the inseparability of culture and language, presents three new metaphors relating to culture and language, and explores cultural content in specific language items through a survey of word associations. The survey was designed for native Chinese speakers (NCS) in Chinese, as well as for native English speakers (NES) in English (see Appendix). The words and expressions associated by NCS convey Chinese culture, and those associated by NES convey English culture. The intimate relationship between language and culture is strikingly illustrated by the survey, which confirms the view that language and culture cannot exist without each other.

Inseparability of
…show more content…
Being culturally loaded, English words and their Chinese translations (or vice versa) are seldom equivalents, and often give rise to different associations or images. This can be shown in the following survey of word associations. A survey of word associations was designed for native Chinese speakers (NCE) and native English speakers (NES) (see Appendix). The survey for NCS is in Chinese, and that for NES in English. In the survey, ten words (food, clothes, family, friend, job, money, culture, success, happiness, love), which are related most closely to people’s lives, and cover both material and spiritual aspects of life, were chosen as prompts. The subjects were asked to write down six additional words or expressions that they associated with each of the ten words. That is to say, the subjects were asked to add six words or expressions after each of the ten chosen words, making 60 words in all.
The relationship between culture and language 329

in specific language items

Survey design



Data collection

Between 28 March and 8 June 1998, 40 copies of the survey were distributed to NES by Joni Strohm, an American expert in Qufu Normal University, Qufu, China, who was also the personnel officer of the English Language Institute in China. All of the NES subjects were EFL teachers working in China. In

More about Wenying Jiang's Paper on Culture and Language

Open Document