Rabu, 27 November 2013

The Relation between Language and Culture

By: Rudi Cahyono

Language has a high position with the culture in society. The relation the two of them is coordinately. Language is instrument to defend culture and culture influence language that used by the speaker.
Language and Cultures are made by human to show their image and also for the communication media. Those are important for the human possessions. There are so many linguist said about the relation of those. A germany philosopher Willem von Humboldt hold that “Language by its very nature represents the spirit and national character of a people”. He thinks that language is a human nature represents. And it’s depending on the speaker.
Language is a reflection from the culture where it lives. Language itself is product of the culture in a nation. Here I would mind telling lite about Language, Culture and the relation of those elements.

Widjiono (2007:15) definite that language is “Lambang bunyi ujaran yang digunakan untuk berkomunikasi oleh masyarakat pemakainya” Symbolic speaking sound that use for a communication by the society. Chaer (2003:32) also definite that language is “Lambang bunyi arbitrer yang digunakan oleh sekelompok social untuk bekerja sama, berkomunikasi dan mengidentifikasi diri” Arbitrary speaking sound that used by society to work together, to communicate and to self identify.
Language is systematic. It means that language is formed by well construction and not diffusely construction. The human made language as well as possible for a bridge. It means that the human need language for their daily life. It caused of the human need in which too many and different. And also used for communicate each other among the place they live together.

            Culture has a complex meaning. It makes some different meaning in linguistic. Goodenough (in Wardhaugh, 1992) Hold this definition. “A society’s culture consists of whatever it is one has to know or believe in order to operate in a manner acceptable to its members, and to do so in any role that they accept for any one of themselves”. Other definition is Wilson (in Siberani 1992:99) show that culture is knowledge that transmitted and shared by socially. Not only the existension and normative but also symbolic that reflected by attitude and the artistic thing human made. In Indonesia there is Koentjoroningrat, Culture has two aspects, namely:
  • ·         The shape of culture. It can by statement, attitude and physic culture.
  • ·         Content of culture. That is language, technology system, economical system, social organization, knowledge system, religion system and artistically system.

Language and Culture
            Language and Culture has a coordinative relation. It means a same level or same importance for human being. Masimambouw (in Chaer 1995:217) hold that Culture and Language is a system that likes a unity in a human. The relation between them is so close and hard to identify. They are influenced each other and walk together.

Language influenced Culture
According to Nababan (1993:82) there are two types of relation between language and culture, namely:
  • ·         Filogenetic – Language is a part of culture.
  • ·         Ontogenetic – Someone learning culture by his/her language.

Language is an equipment to defend culture. A culture would be understood and appreciated by the people if they understood well the language which told it. Merely, appeared an assumption that culture born caused by language and without language means no culture. It supported by Sibrani (1992:101). He tells about the three function of language for culture. According to him that:
  • ·         Language is development media of culture.
  • ·         Language is line generation of culture.
  • ·         Language is inventory of culture.

Culture influenced Language
            The theories above tell that language influenced culture. But that fact looks not suitable for another people. In our daily life often found the existence of culture firstly than language. In Aceh for the example, they have an equipment to digging field named Langlai. Ironically, they use that thing without name before. The name given by the people after it. It means, they have a culture (equipment) but they have not language before (name).
            According to Wardaugh (in Sibarani 1992:109), our mind (mentality culture) drive our language to be meaningly and useful said. When our mind get broke, the impact is our language. Beside that we know about norm. That is a rule for our language. We should speak in suitable situation. We should not speak Blank Voice or others. It means that our language had ruled by the culture.

            In the fact is language existence brought the culture to the middle of us. It also introduced the culture to the culture receiver and language influenced the culture. But that statement is not always right. In different situation, culture can give born to the language. Culture also introduced the language and culture can influenced the language.
            Briefly, language and culture is a unity. They work together. In any different situation and time. They brought each other, introduce each other and they influence each other.

Hodidjah. “Bahasa Mempengaruhi Budaya Atau Sebaliknya”. Widyaiswara
Sepora, Tengku. “Language and Culture”. Universiti Sains Malaysia

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