Multilingualism In Literature

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I. Multilingual films A. Definition of multilingualism Multilingualism is hardly a new phenomenon: the use of multiple languages is as old as humankind (Aronin and Hufeisen 1). Historically, societies and languages have largely been brought into contact for centuries notably through conquests, wars, settlements, colonisation, slavery, migrations and trade (Sankoff 641). For instance, English, French, Latin, Welsh, Dutch and Hebrew among other languages were spoken in medieval Britain (Meylaerts and Serban 203). Today’s globalisation and the presence of the media has made language contact a worldwide and fully recognised phenomenon. Indeed, since the 1980s and 1990s, societies have increasingly been connected, becoming more linguistically…show more content…
Multilingualism in films The presence of several languages in fiction is also nothing new: literary multilingualism can be traced back to the Middle Ages (Delabastita, Grutman 14). Before the 1980s, as a result of the mentioned above monolingual ideal, multilingualism in literature was however shed in a negative light and was seen as “an unconventional domain of study” (Ibid 11). Awareness and research in the area of multilingualism then started to rise and allowed it to be considered a legitimate subject. In an era of increasing globalisation, multilingualism permeates daily life and is to be found in a wide range of fields such as in opera, songs, quotations, the theatre and in films (Meylaerts and Serban 204). Both European and Hollywood films requiring the audience to deal with communication in more than one language emerged at the same time as cinema, in the early 1930s (Heiss 209). However, the number of such film productions started to rise significantly in the 1980s and 1990s: it therefore seems to be an increasingly popular…show more content…
Serban adds that they may also include intertextuality, such as songs or quotations (44). Multilingualism may appear at a more or less frequent rate depending on its function in the film. Indeed, as phrased by Sepielak, “the bigger the role played by multilingualism in the movie, the more L3 insertions appear”
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