Language Choice Online

Mark Warschauer, Ghada R. El Said and Ayman Zohry

in The Multilingual Internet

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780195304794
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199788248 | DOI:
Language Choice Online

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There has been a good deal of concern around the world about the disproportionate role of English on the Internet and thus a possible displacement of other languages. Yet little prior research has investigated the relationship between use of English and other languages online. This chapter combines linguistic analysis, a survey, and interviews to examine English and Arabic language use in online communication by a group of young professionals in Egypt. The study indicates that among this group, English is used predominantly in World Wide Web browsing and formal email communication, but that a romanized version of Egyptian Arabic is used extensively in informal email messages and online chats. This online use of English and Arabic is analyzed in relation to broader social trends of language, technology, globalization, and identity.

Keywords: Arabic; bilingualism; chat; code switching; diglossia; email; English; lingua franca; professionals

Chapter.  6211 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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