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The Internet Is An Increasingly Multilingual Space: How Is Your First Language Used Together With Other Languages In Internet

2709 words - 11 pages

The internet is an increasingly multilingual space: how is your first language used together with other languages in internet


The internet is fast becoming a prevalent communications channel across a wide range of economic sectors as well as among individuals. I examine the language choice and code switch online, by a group of Moldovan internet users. First I will provide background information about the languages situation, language identity and use in Moldova.

The official language of Moldova is the Moldovan or Rumanian language; nonetheless, several other languages are spoken here: Russian, Ukrainian, Gagauz, Bulgarian, and Polish. Such a variety of languages can ...view middle of the document...

It was until 1988 when the first non-sanctioned demonstration was led at the capital, Chisinau, in a struggle for independence on the 31 of august 1989, Moldavian became the official language.


This topic create a great interest in me because, I found it a perfect case for a study. During this module I learned and discovered a lot of tools in order to understand a phenomenon linked to my own background that is: controversy over linguistic identity. During all my life I asked myself what was my first language (L1), Russian or Rumanian. There were suggestions to consider as L1 the one I have acquired first. Rumanian was the first language I acquire, and the language I used for my studies. However, I have acquired Russian beginning with the age of 7, even after my first English classes start, and I begin using it in friend circle. After a time I had a preference to read literature (extra-scholar curriculum), to speak to friends that were in the same situation as I was, in Russian. I remember go give myself reasons like: Russian words do sound better and has more variety in its vocabulary; I had a strong preference for difficult and large words. Finally, it happened as to the majority of population in Moldova that speak both languages, I started code-switching and almost creating a new language where the lexical part and the grammatical morphemes were crossed. Although the interest I have for this question was personal, I tried to keep my study to an empirical method and research on language identity.

research question(s) (what are you trying to find out?)

How do internet users communicate and process information in multilingual and multicultural context. What patterndo follow the language choice and the code switch during online communication.


In order to research my question I searched my data from a local Moldovan social network (PEOPLE.MD). It follows the same framework as the international social platform Facebook. The participants of the data sample were having a forum-like discussion on one of the sections created to discuss about cinema. There nine users involved in a discussion (Appendix 1), about their preferences regarding movies. The writing in such type of context usually is produced spontaneously and rarely with premeditation. Internet slang, cyber slang or chat speak refers to a variety to everyday speak used by different communities in internet, where many people use same abbreviations in order to ease communication[1].
The user’s names are used as pseudonyms in the conversations. Their age is estimated to be between 16 and 24 years. This age rage implies to be graduated from secondary school and be enrolled in higher education or college.


The term language crossing or code-crossing refers to the use of a language which isn't generally thought to 'belong' to the speaker. Language crossing involves a sense of movement across quite sharply felt social or...

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