Ideas about language and culture

Some of you are having trouble finding a blogging topic that relates to 'language and culture', so let me raise a few questions that may give you some ideas:

        * LANGUAGE: What's the best age for learning a second language? Is it possible to be too young to learn a second language, or too old? What's the best method for learning a second language? What are the advantages of knowing two languages (being 'bilingual')? Are there any disadvantages to being bilingual? Are some languages easier to learn than others? Are some languages better for certain purposes than others? Is an alphabetic language like English, for example, better in certain ways than a character-based language like Chinese? Is a character-based language better than an alphabetic language in some ways? Why is it so difficult to translate from one language into another?
        * CULTURE: What defines a culture? Is it food? language? clothing? family relationships? work relationships? art? music? education? technology? the natural environment? What happens to people when they leave their own culture to live in a different culture? ('Culture shock' may be a term worth exploring.) How are people who are 'bi-cultural' different from those who know only one culture? ('Bi-cultural kids' is another term that might be interesting to explore.) Is it possible to compare one culture with another, and say that one is 'better' in some way than another? Or are all cultures equally good? Why do some cultures produce great painting, others great writing, others great engineers, etc., while others don't seem to produce great achievements in any of these areas? Who decides what is 'great' about such achievements? Are some cultures more violent than others? More greedy than others? More aggressive than others? More poetic than others?
        * LANGUAGE & CULTURE: What are the connections between language and culture? Would it be possible, for example, for a group of Chinese people to move to an English-speaking country and retain their Chinese culture while speaking English exclusively? Or for an English family to move to China, speak Chinese 100% of the time, and still retain their English culture? If someone can move fluently between two different languages and cultures, is she in some sense two different people? Does our personality change when we speak a different language or live in a different culture?

These are just a few of the possible questions—I hope they give you some good ideas!