1

I wrote 2 sentences:

Among 54 Vietnamese ethnic groups, each one has its own cultural identity which is expressed through their cultural cuisine, housing, long established practices, social manners, religious festivals, beliefs, social structures, literature and traditional costume. These are cultural characteristics/features for ethnic groups to recognize and understand one another.

I intend to use those terms (cultural characteristics and cultural features) interchangeably. However, I searched on google and found that they are slightly different in a way I can't explain. I don't know If I'm thinking too much or they are truly interchangeably.

I usually get results like: Social Organization, Language, Customs and Traditions, Religion.... when I search "cultural features".

On the other hand, I get results like: It is learned, shared, based on symbols... when I search "cultural characteristics".

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    Can you quote or link the places you found on Google that said they mean different things?
    – gotube
    Oct 18, 2022 at 5:33
  • I usually get results like: Social Organization, Language, Customs and Traditions, Religion.... when I search cultural features. On the other hand, I get results like: It is learned, shared, based on symbols... when I search cultural characteristics. Therefore, I know they're a bit different. But sometimes, the results are similar when I search both terms and sometimes, the results are opposite of what I said earlier. That's why I get confused with these two concepts Oct 18, 2022 at 15:11
  • You clearly need an English-language editor. Your questions are all about editing. We don't say cultural cuisine. Just "their cuisine". I do not understand the second sentence in your first paragraph. "cultural traits or characteristics". Among the fifty-four Vietnamese ethnic groups
    – Lambie
    Oct 18, 2022 at 16:14
  • For all practical purposes, cultural characteristics, features, traits, attributes, manifestations,... are all synonymous. Other words, such as quirks, peculiarities, idiosyncrasies are very similar, but they're usually a bit insulting / dismissive (as is often the case when people from one culture are talking about people from another culture! :) Oct 18, 2022 at 16:20
  • @Lambie: Including the before 54 groups effectively forces the interpretation that there are 54 groups (neither more nor less), where OP's (perfectly valid) version simply leaves that matter open (there must be at least 54 - but perhaps there are actually several more that the writer isn't interested in / didn't research, for some reason). And we do sometimes refer to their cultural cuisine. Oct 18, 2022 at 16:27

1 Answer 1

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Sample:

Among 54 Vietnamese ethnic groups, each one has its own cultural identity which is expressed through their cultural cuisine, housing, long established practices, social manners, religious festivals, beliefs, social structures, literature and traditional costume. These are cultural characteristics/features for ethnic groups to recognize and understand one another. These are cultural characteristics/features for ethnic groups to recognize and understand one another.

Of the fifty-four ethnic groups in Vietnam, each has its own cultural identity expressed through cuisine, housing, long-standing practices, social manners, religious festivals, beliefs, social structures, literature and traditional costumes. These are cultural characteristics whereby ethnic groups recognize and understand one another.

[However, I don't understand how a person from one group who doesn't know another group's language is really going to recognize and understand them.]

  • Personally, I prefer to say a culture's characteristics. Features to me sounds like one is describing a house or painting or language or some object. Not something cultural. In some contexts, features and characteristics can be interchangeable.

  • These are ethnic groups within the borders of Vietnam and they may all be part of the nation but they are not all "Vietnamese group". They are: List of ethnic groups in Vietnam

  • Unless writing about statistics or economics, it's best to spell out numbers if there is only one like here.

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