Cultural Differences Related to Language Barriers Student`s

CulturalDifferences Related to Language Barriers


Culturerefers to people’s way of life. People vary in the way they conductthemselves in their day- to- day life. These variations are due todifferent factors like demographic locations, religious differencesand people’s diverse upbringing amongst other factors. Thesecultural discrepancies have continuously been blamed for breedingmiscommunication between different groups of people. The paper belowoffers a comprehensive yet detailed discussion of how languagebarriers have served as one of the cultural clashes that has createda lot of misunderstanding between various groups of people. Moreover,the paper below addresses the proposals of strategies that could beemployed in order to counter these barriers.

Languageis a necessary tool for effective communication among all members ofthe society. Nonetheless, there are several constraints in ensuringthat there is effective communication between people. This is due tothe fact that different individuals have diverse ways ofcommunication as well as languages due to a number of factors. Thishas bred much miscommunication between varying groups of people(Pennycook, 2014).

Agood instance is as depicted in South Africa’s situation. Acomparison of the Khoisan group of people to the other South Africa’sinhabitants shows a great disparity between the two. The former groupseems alienated due to what the other people refer to as their clicksound language which they use as a mode of communication. This clicklanguage is owed to their cultural heritage gained from living in aquiet forested surroundings. This has had immense effects on thisminority group. They have been alienated and barred from running thefunctions of the government as well as various economic activities.This sidelining has had adverse effects in making them a hostilecommunity that shuns any development projects (Pennycook, 2014).

EastAfrica has similarly experienced the same problem due to the languagehindrances between the many tribes which use different languages astheir means of the communication. A flashback at the colonialhistoric times shows how their colonizers held various stereotypesabout them by referring to Africa as a dark continent simply becausethey were unable to communicate with them effectively. Many were theinstances that the Europeans felt that they were superior to theblacks and therefore immense and rapid liberalization were necessaryso as to westernize these primitive folks. This created muchmiscommunication by, both communities, treating each other as enemies(Pennycook, 2014). This brewed much and intense animosity which hastaken several decades in trying to eradicate it but to no avail. Thetwo varying groups still treat each other as different, somethingthat various activists have tried to do away with.

Thus,this brings in the question of the urgency needed to deal with thismenace. Language barriers can be done away with by the uniformizationof education systems so as to ensure that at least one languageremains as the standard form of communication. This strategy haspreviously worked with the introduction of English as a universallyaccepted mode of communication (Pennycook, 2014). Tokenism shouldalso be embraced as encouraged by Martin Luther King. This is apractice of incorporating the minority groups so as to help them fitin the society.

Toconclude with one understands that cultural differences can lead to amyriad of problems if not countered. Language barriers seem to be oneof the great steers of cultural differences. Therefore, this meansthat if it is counteracted then the world is bound to socializeeffectively irrespective of their varying ways of life.


Pennycook,A. (2014). Thecultural politics of English as an international language.Routledge.

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