Thursday, July 23, 2015
Cultural Adaptation and Language
CULTURAL ADAPTATION AND LANGUAGE
by Anton Antonio
July 7, 2015
Cultural adaptation is the process of ensuring your message, whether translated into another language or not, is presented using cultural references and role models that your intended audience will identify with. Does this sound too technical? Well… here’s something less technical: Cultural adaptation is the revolutionary process by which an individual modifies his personal habits to fit in to a particular culture. It can also refer to gradual changes within a culture or society that occur as people from different backgrounds participate in the culture and share their perspectives and practices.
If things are not yet too clear, let’s simplify cultural adaptation further. Cultural adaptation is nothing more that adaptations by which human beings cope with or adjust to. In this context, adjustments are characteristically made with the existing and developing elements in his environment. Adaptation refers to accommodation, change and evolution. Culture embraces the areas of language, history, dress, food, holiday, traditions, religion, music and other forms of art. Culture is simply the way we do life and adapting our culture, we change our way of life in subtle or more drastic ways.
The most significant driver of cultural adaptation is language. Languages can also undergo cultural adaptation. The coinage and use of words like “selfie”, “dabarkads”, “meme”, “peg”, “netizens”, “pabebe”, etc. is part of the evolution of language. These seemingly colloquial (meaning: used in ordinary or familiar conversation but not formal or literary) words, unknown and misunderstood at first, eventually develop to be part of the conversational and communications language. Even older folks, who find it uncomfortable at first, eventually speak it too.
Cultural adaptation and language are concepts and important elements in the study of environmental science for the reason that these enrich our culture… and culture is an integral part of our environment. This is very evident in the Generation “Y” or “millenials” who are competent at social media communications. Although cultural purists argue that this could lead to the loss of cultural identity, adding new words/language will eventually prove to be good in enhancing traditional and indigenous language. This is the function of cultural adaptation and language.
Just my little thoughts…
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