In this post, we’ll be covering the topic of culture in all of its forms. Below you’ll find a compilation of useful terms to strengthen your English vocabulary, so that next time you’ll be visiting cultural places, you’ll know everything you need to discuss art. This article will therefore address vocabulary words on the following topics:
- Art (Writing and Painting);
- Cinema/Cultural Activities;
Ready to learn the terminology related to the world of culture? Let’s dive right in by defining today’s subject matter. Culture.
Whether you wish to take the IELTS, TOEIC, TOEFL, CAE, FCE, BRIDGE, BULATS (Linguaskill) or even the BRIGHT ENGLISH, you need to enhance your English vocabulary in order to prepare for your test. It is also crucial to learn new vocabulary words if you wish to learn English on your own! We have have made a long list of vocabulary worksheets:
- Anthropology Vocabulary
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- Research Vocabulary
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- Office Supplies Vocabulary
- Management Vocabulary
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- The Factory Vocabulary
- Vocabulary List: Bank and Finance
- Computer Vocabulary
- Marketing Vocabulary
- Social Media Vocabulary
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- Architecture Vocabulary
- Sociology Vocabulary
What Is the Meaning and the Definition of Culture?
The English word culture takes its roots in the Latin word cultura, which stands for grow, farm, or honor. Cultura itself derives from the noun colere, which means both grow and celebrate.
In this instance, culture can be defined as the shared values, traditions, norms, customs, arts, and traditions of a group of people across any domain such as art, religion, science, language or food.
In English, the word culture encompasses various—and sometimes opposite—meanings. Today, we won’t be talking about the culture of the land : farming ; but about the culture of the art.
Culture Vocabulary: General Terms Around the Notion of Culture
Let’s start by learning about common terms used to discuss Culture, with a capital C.
|Beliefs||ideas shared among a group of people|
|Cultural Institution||established organization working for the preservation of culture|
|Design||to draw plans showing the look and function of any object before it is made|
|Dialect||form of a language specific to a region or social group|
|Diffusion||spreading of a concept or idea widely|
|Ethic||set of moral principles shared by a group or a field|
|Heritage||legacy of cultural resources in a group or society|
|Knowledge||facts and skills acquired through education or experience|
|Mores||customs and norms of a society or a community|
|Research||thorough study of a field to reach new conclusions|
|Resources||documentation of past work that can be used to conduct new studies|
|Study||detailed investigation of a subject or a field|
|Values||moral principles and beliefs that serve to assess the importance of things|
Music Vocabulary: General Terms Around the Notion of Music
Now that we’ve seen terms around the notion of culture, it’s time to channel your inner musician and learn practical words to talk about the music craft.
The components of Music
Music is an intricate art revolving around many different sonorities put together. Here are some of its main components:
|Acoustic||raw performance of a song without electric amplifier|
|Beat||basic unit of time, tempo, and rhythm used in music theory|
|Chorus||repetitive part of a song|
|Chords||two or more notes played together|
|Collaborate (collab)||to work with another artist to produce a song|
|Lyrics||written words composing a song|
|Melody||notes forming a song|
|Rhythm||pattern of beats and sounds present in a song|
Music Genres and Important Terms
Like any art form, music has tons of different genres :
|Blues||secular folk music born in the early 20th century created by African Americans|
|Classical music||traditional music following established principles|
|Pop music||popular music genre with easy to remember beats and lyrics|
|Rap||speaking in rhymes over hip-hop instrumental|
|Record||disc where the music is recorded, imprinted, and sold / synonym of song and track|
|Reggae music||music genre born in Jamaica in the 1960s recognizable for its engaged lyrics, drum and bass downbeat, and its offbeat rhythm|
|Rock music||rhythmic music with a heavy presence of guitar, drums, and bass|
|Sample||reuse of a portion of a song in another song|
|Set||series of songs performed one after the other|
|Singer||person who speaks melodically over a song|
|Single||song released digitally or physically on its own|
|Track||synonym of song and record|
Art Vocabulary: General Terms Around the Notion of Art
In this section, we’ll be highlighting the most important terms related to the art of writing and painting.
You’ll find below some key terms about the writing craft and the different genres of books.
|Biography||book around someone’s life|
|Drama||type of story which involves conflict and tragedy among characters|
|Essay||concise piece of writing on a particular subject|
|Memoir||nonfiction narrative writings based on personal memories|
|Literature||written works widely praised|
|Novel||fiction prose narrative dealing with human experience|
|Poetry||literary work which revolves around the expression of feelings through the use of style and rhythms|
|Quill||writing tool made from a feather, which was dipped into ink to write on paper|
|Romance||written work that places its primary focus on the romantic relationship between two characters|
|Scenario||written outline of a film|
|Typewriter||mechanical machine used to type characters on a sheet of paper|
Art of Painting
In this list, you’ll learn terms about painting styles and techniques.
|Brushstroke||way of applying paint to a surface with a brush|
|Calligraphy||art of decorative handwriting|
|Canvas||piece of cloth used by an artist to paint on|
|Contrast||juxtaposition of opposite tones and color in a work of art|
|Cubism||early 20th-century movement revolving around the use of simple geometric shapes|
|Expressionism||artistic style in which the image of reality is distorted to better express the artist’s feelings or ideas|
|Gouache||paint consisting of a mix of natural pigment, water, and binding agents|
|Impressionism||French 19th-century style of painting that attempts to capture the feeling of a scene rather than its details|
|Landscape||genre of art depicting natural scenery|
|Palette||spectrum of colors used in a painting|
|Pastel||paste made of pigment used to make crayons|
|Perspective||representation of three-dimensional objects in two-dimensional artworks|
|Pigment||coloring substance of paint derived from natural or synthetic sources|
|Portrait||painting depicting only the face or the head of shoulders of a person|
|Sketch||rough drawing made to assist in making a finished painting|
|Solvent||liquid used for dissolving another substance allowing to clean or mix paint|
Places of Art
You’ll find here some of the most common places where art is displayed to the public.
|Exhibition||public display of works of art|
|Gallery||room in which people look at works of art|
|Museum||building in which objects of art, culture, history or science are displayed to the public|
|Theatre||building in which plays, shows or motion pictures are displayed|
Cinema Vocabulary: General Terms Around the Notion of Cinema
Talking about theatre, let’s now see the main terms related to the art of making motion pictures movies: the Seventh Art. Cinema.
|Act||to perform in a movie or a play|
|Box office||place where tickets are bought / commercial success of a film|
|Camera angle||point of view from where the camera is filming|
|Cast||group of actors chosen by the director to play parts in a movie|
|Credits||list of people involved in the production of a film|
|Dialogue||written conversations between characters of a play|
|Distribution||process of diffusion of a movie to make it available to a wide audience|
|Dub||to translate dialogues of a film in a different language|
|Film studio||room used to shoot movies|
|Movie||a recording of moving images that tell a story|
|Plot||written events of a film|
|Premiere||first public performance of a new film|
|Scenario||written outline of a film|
|Screenplay||script and shooting directions of a movie|
|Set||location where a movie or scene is shot|
|Shot||series of frame produced by having the camera in a certain position|
|Stunt||dangerous physical feat, popular in action movies|
|Subtitle||transcript or translation of dialogues displayed at the bottom of the screen|
|Take||single continuous recorded experience|
|Voice-over||narration made by someone who doesn’t appear on-screen|
Common Sentences Related to Cultural Activities
Now that you know the important terms to talk about each and every cultural activity, it’s time to see how they’re used in a sentence.
Speaking about Art
- Pablo Picasso produced more than 150.000 works of art, making him the world’s most prolific painter in the history of mankind.
- The Louvre is the largest museum in France.
- Besides being one of the most well-known writers in the world, William Shakespeare also used to be an established actor.
Speaking about Cinema
- He went to the flicks with his friends.
- This thriller was a huge box-office success.
- The producer chose a young actor to play the lead role in its movie.
Speaking about Music
- This pop song has catchy melodies that linger in the mind.
- Playing the piano requires great hand-eye coordination.
- In 2020, rap music was the most popular type of music among youngsters, while rock music was at an all-time low.
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