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The Multilingual InternetLanguage, Culture, and Communication Online$
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Brenda Danet and Susan C. Herring

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195304794

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304794.001.0001

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Language Choice Online

Language Choice Online

Globalization and Identity in Egypt

Chapter:
(p.302) (p.303) 13 Language Choice Online
Source:
The Multilingual Internet
Author(s):

Mark Warschauer

Ghada R. El Said

Ayman Zohry

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304794.003.0013

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

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