TOEFL IBT – Culture

Vocabulary is promordial in order to improve your TOEFL score. Remember, Preparation is the key to succeed !

This vocabulary will be useful if you are taking a course in anthropology, for doing research, or for any number of English language exams you may take. Here we will look at the most commonly used words having to do with culture, along with their French translations.


the process that occurs when contact between two cultures results in substantial change in the culture of the individual members of one or both groups

They supported acculturation and adoption of some European-American ways.



scientist who studies culture

An anthropologist studies the working habits of minority youths in Harlem.



the process of absorbing one cultural group into another

I guess we suffer assimilation from the freedom this country allows.



ideas or theories about the natural or supernatural world that are not supported by objective or factual evidence

As a Catholic, she also had religious beliefs to reconcile.

les croyances


an urbanized society with a large, very complex social organization

They had seen the end of civilization as they knew it.

la civilisation


the total way of life of a group of people, including their beliefs, institutions, and technology

In Chinese culture, bereaved families rarely agree to donate organs.

la culture


a practice from the past that people continue to observe

I have adopted the Texan custom of barbecuing cow brisket.

la coutume


a local variation of a language

Four local churches offer Mass in the local dialect of Cantonese.

le dialecte


leave one’s country of residence for a new one

My father emigrated to this country a year before we followed.



the slow and day-to-day process of learning your group’s culture as an infant and a child

Westernization can also be related to acculturation and enculturation.


ethnic group

a group of people who share a language, history, or place of origin; a large group of people who have more in common with each other than they do with other peoples

Whites and other ethnic groups are also looking at the area.

le groupe ethnique


come into a new country and change residency

People die trying to immigrate to all parts of the world.



human communication, either written, spoken, or signed

And what if you don’t speak the language?

la langue

language family

group of languages that have a common origin

They have not been definitely linked to any other American language family.

la famille linguistique


standardized and formalized norms that regulate conduct

This violates government ethics and this clearly violates California election law.

les lois


belief in one god

Twenty years later, Christianity and monotheism had taken its place.

le monothéisme


within a single species, a group of living creatures (usually humans) sharing the same appearance or genetic characteristics

There is one change in race relations that is beyond dispute.

la race


organized system of beliefs and practices, often centered on one or more gods

I compared my old religion of Islam with my newfound faith.

la religion


the methods, tools, and machinery that humans have developed

There is no new science or technology involved in this concept.

la technologie

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