| Canadian Culture Essay
The Canadian culture and traditions are heavily influenced by those of the United Kingdom. In fact, the difference between the two cultures is, at times, not apparent even though the two nations happen to far apart. Nevertheless, the Canadians have of late been influenced by the American cultural practices. In this regard, the Canadian English language has been remarkably influenced by that of the United States and, in some cases, it has become quite difficult to find individuals communicating in a language that is uniquely Canadian. Due to the increased rate of immigration into the country, an interchange of ideas and ways of life have diluted the original characteristics of the Canadian English that were, as it has been indicated, largely adopted from the British English language (Petty et al., 2006; Easthorpe, 2004).
Historians report to have identified remarkable influences on the Canadian English from the cultures and traditions of the Aboriginals. In fact, Canada is a vast region that has diversified its culture as a result of influences from foreign nations. For instance, the Canadian English does share several phonological characteristics with what is taken to be the Standard American English. Among these characteristics include the alveolar flapping and the syllable-final rhoticity. Canadian English is presumably rhotic since, just like the Irish and the Standard American English; the final syllable /r/ is heard when pronouncing such words as farm and car. Nevertheless, English that is spoken in such places as Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, does stand out due to the rare dropping of the /r/ in the Canadian dialect. Flapping refers to the process through which an intervocalic /d/ or /t/ is replaced with quick voiced taps of the tongue, a situation which happens to be unlike the alveolar ridge. With regard to the Canadian English, the replacement occurs only if the said /d/ or /t/ happens to be placed between two vowel letters. Even so, the second vowel must not be stressed. In that case, the alveolar does stop while pronouncing such terms as waiting, seated, seeded, wading, and capital. Flapping does also happen whenever there happens to be the /r/ in-between the initial vowel and an alveolar stop. This is the case while pronouncing such words as party and barter. In the Canadian English, the flapping is age-graded. In fact, as the Canadians advance in age, it becomes challenging to put flaps in service in place of the alveolar stops (Easthorpe, 2004; Joughin, 1997).
In South Africa, regional and social aspects of the society cause variation, a situation which has prompted the classification of the countrys English into three categories. The categories are the cultivated, general, and the broad English varieties. The cultivated variety approximates what is referred to as the Received Pronunciation, and it is associated with the individuals who belong to the upper class. The general category is associated with those whose social status places them in the middle class. The last category is mainly associated with those who happen to belong to the working class. This category is significantly influenced by the Afrikaans language, a scenario which has earned it the name Afrikaans-English. Unlike the Canadian English, the South African English is mainly non-rhotic especially whenever the influence of the Afrikaans happens to be minimal. The main phonological characteristics of the South African English happen to be associated with the behavior of such vowel sounds as bath and kit. The kit vowel is “split” and, in this case, the allophonic variation is quite clear. The bath vowel happens to be characteristically back and open. This is usually the case with the Broad and General varieties of the South African English (Edwards, 2005; Esty, 2004).
In West Africa, the Standard English is mostly spoken in cities and such urban areas as Lagos. The language is founded on the British English and it remained largely undiluted until the significance of the contact between the region and the United States began to be felt. In this case, some of the terms in the American English have found their way into the West African English, resulting into what is commonly referred to as, say, the Nigerian Pidgin or the Ghanaian Pidgin. Such pidgins are commonly utilized whenever individuals are holding informal conversations. retained its importance in politics and the media as well as other official settings (Slack et al, 1994).
West African Pidgin shares significant characteristic features with the English dialects in the Caribbean. This has resulted from the continued return of the descendants of the American slaves. These returnees introduced several phrases and words to the West African English language. The influence of the native African languages has made the West African English language unique. Initially, some connections between the Canadian and the West African national cultures of English were noticeable. However, circumstances have forced these languages to diverse as they evolve and, as such, once apparent connection has been blurred completely (Austen & Irvine, 2002; Martin, 2012).
The Uruguay is, mainly, a Spanish speaking country. Nevertheless, there are significant numbers of residents who communicate in English. Creole varieties have greatly influenced the Uruguayan English even though they happen to be varied. Uruguay, just like in many other nations in the region, English dialects vary significantly. However, there is a perceivable meeting point since they do have their roots in the 17th-century version of English that was being spoken by the farm laborers from the region. The variety of English that is spoken in Uruguay has incorporated dialects of the American and British languages and some aspects of the Irish intonations are also evident. Much of the spelling is, however, done as per the British English (MacKenzie, 2010; Hjort, 2000).
The Uruguayan Standard English has been similar, in terms of grammar, to British version. Nevertheless, since the middle of the 20th century, Uruguay has had a strengthening of economic and social ties with America. Again, the popularity of the American pop and film culture has exposed the nation to the American English version. In this case, there are some perceivable connection between the Uruguayan and the Canadian English. The connection is not apparent though since the two nations are culturally diversified and, in essence, the relationship between the two is insignificant. The two societies do, however, have some common English terminologies, a situation which has been facilitated by the intercession of the American film and pop culture (Harris et al., 2003).
Singapore is, basically, a multi-lingual society. The government four official languages are recognized and encouraged. The languages include English, Chinese (Mandarin), Malay, and Tamil. Although school children are taught English as the language of instruction, the government does encourage the learning of the second language, commonly referred to as the Mother Tongue, meaning that such languages as Mandarin Chinese, Tamil, and Malay have great influence on the conceptualization of the English terminologies. In this regard, there are two categories of English in Singapore, the Standard Singapore English and the Singlish. A census that was conducted in 2005 indicated that at least 30% of citizens spoke English even in their homes. There exist a significant number of foreign workers in Singapore, especially in the service sector. The evolution of the Singaporean English is therefore comparable to that of the Canadian one. This is because, in the two situations, the influences of the local culture as well as that which happen to originate from foreign nations happen to be significant (Buell, 1994; Vincent & Rodriguez, 1997).
The Pilipino English has a rhotic accent, and this resulted from the period when the language was introduced in the Philippines by the native speakers from America. As a result of the American colonization of the Philippines, English replaced Spanish thereby becoming the dominant medium of exchange in politics and in business. The people in the Philippines do not have a unifying English Accent, as various indigenous languages have influenced the evolution of English as it is spoken all over these islands. For instance, individuals who come from the Visayan Islands happen to interchange the /i/ and /e/ and also /u/ and /o/. Indeed, the distinctions between these sounds are not pronounced in most of the Visayan languages. The Northerners pronounce /r/ with a firm trill rather than the flap because it happens to be one of the main features in the Ilocano pronunciations. A section of the Ilocanos does pronounce /%u0259/ in an enhanced manner since there exists a sound in their own language that happens to be close to that sound. In this regard, it is evident that while the English that is spoken in some regions of the country bears remembrance to the Canadian English, that of some other regions happens to be predominantly different from that which is spoken by the Canadians (Colls & Dodd, 1986; Buell, 1994).
The assignment was meant to facilitate the understanding of the strength of cultures in facilitating the mutual collaboration while engaging in various business activities. The strength of intercultural understanding has become apparent due to the manner in which it facilitates the capturing feelings and perceptions that individuals hold towards a subject. This enables parties to free themselves from prejudices, a situation that helps in motivating them into proceeding with their business engagements despite the challenges of cultural variations. Though the assignment was primarily focused on the issue of language, similar ideas define several other intercultural aspects. The comprehension of these aspects eases business engagements even in situations where parties happen to have originated from different regions of the world.
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