Essay Example on the Impact of Language and Culture on Immigrant Society: USA

Published: 2019-09-16
Essay Example on the Impact of Language and Culture on Immigrant Society: USA
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Culture Immigration Languages
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1518 words
13 min read

People move from their native country to another country to look for better opportunities. They end settling there and acquiring citizenship. This process is referred to as Immigration. America is regarded as the land of opportunities and immigration is a common thing existing for many years and up to date. Settling in a different community makes people experience language and cultural effects. In the United States, immigrants came to look for greener pastures, most of them are not familiar with the English language or the culture of the American people. Therefore, it turns out to be a challenge to incorporate in that society. Despite them facing challenges, culture and language play a vital role for the immigrants to live successful with the local people.

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Language barrier has a great impact on the lives of the immigrants. It brings a lot of challenges to the immigrants. One of the challenges is the effect on their health status. It turns out to be difficult to access health care services mainly because they are not able to explain to the doctor what is wrong with them. Language barrier has portrayed to have more effects on health care access, the right of the patient, the quality of the care and also on the outcome of the patients health. Hacker et al (2011) thus state that Immigrants who are affected by language barrier may lack quality health care when compared with the ordinary American despite them having insurance coverage for health.

In matters of government agencies, the language barrier has more direct effects on the immigrants society. Issues on cultural differences are encountered by many immigrants in different ways. For instance, in the case of a conflict between immigrants who are affected by the language barrier and people who are fluent in English, the people with language barrier are always or in many cases assumed to be in the wrong. This is because they are not able to express themselves in a clear way (Borjas, 2011). An English speaking person may prejudge the immigrants based on opinions, feelings or even hostility attitude because of the racial or even religious group. Obviously, all this preconception can be aggravated by the language barrier and shaped by differences in culture.

Language barrier also leads to abuse of immigrants at workplaces; they are harassed and underestimated for their skills of work. Even if language plays a vital role in communication, the most important things in a workplace for a better performance are skills that a person has and experience in that field (Borjas, 2011). However, immigrants with better skills and work experience are despised by the natives since they lack better communication skills.

However, despite all the negative effects the immigrants experiences, there are also advantages that accompany them. Meeting new people from different places of the world familiarizes them with many languages, people can communicate in the different language. This enriches the culture of the society. When children can communicate in many languages, they turn out to be more valuable in places of work. Children of the immigrants enrich language by exchanging words and making them part of their society (Koopmans, 2010). For example, the Spanish language has been affected by the English since some words have crept in their language and are commonly used as normal Spanish language. Also, English have borrowed some Spanish words even if it is not that intense. Most of the times the immigrants children loses their native language, for example, a child can understand Germany but also answer in English. It is most likely that this child will not be able to teach their children their native language, and so it will just die with them.

Religion is one of the cultures that have experienced impact on immigrant society. Immigrants come to the United States with their different religions. When they integrate with the local people, they tend to change their religion and start being assimilated in the new religion of the people they have found there. Some immigrants come in large number, and their religion dominates. Initially, America was a Christian land but today with new arrivals, who are bringing with them their cultures, it has been diversified in terms of religion (Viruell-Fuentes, 2012). Religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Islamic were not part of America but today they have been incorporated and accepted as part of the American culture. According to Viruell-Fuentes (2012), Statistics have shown that two-thirds of Muslims are immigrants, and they account for about 0.7 percent of the adults in U.S, Hindus account for roughly 0.5 percent of the population, with 87 percent not born in America. Despite Buddhism being a foreign religion, three-fourth of people who are Buddhists are born in America. Most of these people are converts who leaves their faith; they account for about 0.6 percent of the America population (Viruell-Fuentes, 2012). When immigrants stop believing in and following what their beliefs, they lose their culture. Immigrants have helped to deepen the culture and enrich it with more faith and religion understanding; this has helped reduce claims and immorality since religion is against them.

Despite, enriching the culture of people, it has also resulted in many unwanted behaviors in the society. For instance, terrorism which is believed to be based on Islamic religion is causing havoc and depriving peace in America. This is a culture that came with immigrants, and it is not acceptable. Culture have also affected the immigrants society largely; immigration leads to new cultural behaviors. Some cultural behaviors that the immigrants engages were not part of their lives. They tend to do them because they are happening around them (Borjas et al., 2011). For example, homosexuality is a culture that is establishing itself in America, initially, it was not part of the society, it was even illegal to engage in it, today with different people from different beliefs, sexuality have been legalized and have been accepted as their new way of life.

Immigrants have played a crucial role in the development of the American culture; they have created a presentable image in the minds of the Americans. Immigrants have participated in the creative arts such as acting in films, writing, and many other cultural activities. The majority of those who have won awards as Hollywood directors are immigrants (Borjas et al., 2011). Also, the majority of writers and composers who are highly regarded in the history of the America were immigrants. They did their best to incorporate their culture with that of the Americans to bring the best out of it. Today the American culture have been diversified due to many people from different places with different cultures coming together and forming one society. Some immigrants lose some of their cultures and borrow the natives the culture; this also applies to the natives, and they lose some of their cultures and buys the immigrants culture.

In general, immigrants with language barrier experiences difficulties when settling in a society which is new, with a new culture and culture. Language barrier acts as a problem to those new people who have limited proficiency in English language and are settling in the America. This is a rather big problem in the daily lives of the immigrants since they need a language to communicate.

Immigrants also have played a major role in creating the American today's culture. These cultures have affected the immigrants both negatively (Koopmans, 2010). For instance, use of drugs in America is caused by negative cultural behaviors, immigrants should be in a position to fight these bad cultures since they ruin their reputations, and they should embrace healthy cultural integrations and maintain them so that they can live in peace, love and harmony.

Lastly, it is evident that the Immigrants native cultures have been interfered with as a result of the immigration. People bring their different cultures with them. They then find another culture in America, when the two are incorporated there is a corruption of the immigrants culture. Therefore, they end up abandoning or interfering their own cultures.

In conclusion, language and culture affect the immigrants society more negatively than positively. It is the work of the society to choose those factors that are healthy both to them and their children. For instance, the use of vague language is something that is cropping slowly in the society; it is the work of the society to realize this and work against it since it will affect their children and their descendants. Immigrants should encourage healthy language where the exchange of words should be done in the right manner. People should exchange those words which reflect good morals to everybody around the world.


Borjas, G. J. (2011). Heaven's Door: Immigration Policy and the American economy. Princeton University Press.

Hacker, Karen, et al. (2011). "The impact of immigration and customs enforcement on immigrant health: perceptions of immigrants in Everett, Massachusetts, USA." Social science & medicine 73.4, 586-594.

Koopmans, R. (2010). Trade-offs between equality and difference: Immigrant integration, multiculturalism, and the welfare state in cross-national perspective. Journal of ethnic and migration studies, 36(1), 1-26.

Viruell-Fuentes, E. A., Miranda, P. Y., & Abdulrahim, S. (2012). More than culture: structural racism, intersectionality theory, and immigrant health. Social science & medicine, 75(12), 2099-2106.

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