Hello, everyone! I am interested in the occurrence of language code-switching in the social media. I would like to know more about whether and why people tend to switch between two and more languages on the internet. Also, I wish to understand whether and how the language code-switching facilitate the intercultural communication? As for people who alternately use two and more languages, will they face a crisis related to mother tongue and cultural identity? Some specific questions are as follows:
Q1: How often do you use social media such as Facebook, Weibo, and Wechat? (Always / Frequently / Sometimes / Seldom)
Q2: What does language code-switching usually involve on Facebook, Weibo, and Wechat? (Greetings / Facts / Opinions / Feelings / Secrets / Others)
Q3: Why do netizens switch between languages in social media?
Q4: How do you feel when you switch between different languages? (Sense of security / sense of inclusion / sense of vulnerability / sense of differentiation)
Feel free to discuss with me on this topic. And many thanks to you for sharing your ideas with me!
All great questions.
I don't think it is the use of two or more languages that is the cause of a lack of cultural identity for me. It is more the fact that I am an Asian that grew up in a Asian household but lived in the US for most of my life. I identify with American culture, but people see me and they see Asian, not American. Whenever I tell someone that I am an American, most people either respond with "you don't look American" or "no, where are you really from? Where are your parents from?"
I don't have any problems with my mother tongue (English) although sometimes I may "forget" a word or a phrase because I may be thinking in Korean but speaking English. But that is very rare.
I try not to mix languages. If I am speaking Korean, I try and stick to Korean. If I do not know a word or how to express myself in a certain way, I ask instead of replacing unknown word or unknown phrase with English. That helps me keep my languages separate and helps keep each language in tip-top shape.
Having said that, there are certain words in each language that cannot be translated and are so fun to use.