Why Do People Code Switch

761 Words4 Pages
The case of mixing languages can be seen in a lot of bilingual speakers. For me personally, I think the reason I mix my languages is because I think the language I choose to use can best serve my needs. Sometimes I cannot find a word or even a saying in Chinese that has the accurate meaning of what I am trying to say in English and vice versa. I did some survey among my friends who also code-switch and the following are the reasons I believe why people code-switch. (1) To find a perfect equivalent. For example, the Chinese for the word “tutorial” is not commonly used. It’s hard to find the perfect translation for it so people just use the English form. (This was what I did when I messaged my parents.) Sometimes people cannot find a word in Cantonese because it was not in the culture. “Speakers often code-switch to English when referring to objects or concepts associated with Western culture, lifestyle and technology (e.g. fashion, computing, show business, food, business, see Li, 1996; Lee, 2000).” (Chan, 2011) Proper terms like “jailbreak” (Apple products) and “root” (Android products) is usually are kept in the originally form when used on social media because of the difficulty of the translation. In order to use the accurate word they are looking for, people code-switch.…show more content…
Some things were ingrained in our minds when we were really young. This kind of code-switch is reflective and instinctive. Places that are named in English such as “Victoria City”, “Kennedy Town”, etc, can be used when referring to the location. Other examples like “pizza” , “sushi”, “bus”, “chocolate”, to name a few, also keep their English form because these words were translated and people keep the habit of continue using them. Ubiquitous words like “google” is used everywhere without being translated because everyone knows what that
Open Document