Mixing Language Essay

777 Words 4 Pages
The case of mixing languages can be seen in a lot of bilingual speakers. Take myself for example, I was born in Taiwan and I started learning English in a very young age. I found myself mixing my languages since I was really little. For me personally, I think the reason I mix my languages is because I think the language I choose to use can best serve me needs. Sometimes I cannot find a word or even a saying in Mandarin that has the accurate meaning of what I am trying to say in English and vice versa. I did some survey among my friends in Taiwan who also code-switch (a lot of them are American missionaries living in Taiwan for a long time or just people who have learned English since they were really young) and the following are the reasons …show more content…
Sometimes it’s hard to find a perfect equivalent. For instance, the Chinese term “麻煩” (pronounced: mafan, meaning a lot of trouble or with lots of complications) is commonly used because it’s hard to find an English word for it. It’s also a matter of economy and efficiency. For example, when it comes to siblings, such as “弟弟” (pronounced: didi), it’s so much easier to just say “didi” instead of younger brother. Dynamic equivalence (focused more on naturalness of language; reader based) is more important than formal equivalence (focused more on accuracy and correctness; word-to word translation) in Eugene Nida’s view (Munday, 2008). In order to convey their thoughts affectively, people code-switch at …show more content…
“For me it happens when I associate something with my language or culture. When I encounter words, people or concepts in my own language I automatically switch.” –A Switzerland student who has been using English for more than ten years
The people we are with or the things we are talking about, highly affects whether we code-switch or not. For example, you might find yourself more at ease speaking your mother tongue with people from your hometown even if you both know another language. Culture is also a really important factor. People might find it easier to talk about emotions or feelings in one language because either they are more comfortable with it or the culture corresponded with the language allow people to talk more about feelings and emotions. In brief, the context makes people code-switch to the language they are more comfortable with.

(4) Keeping secrets. If we want to talk about something we don 't want others to know, we drop in as many foreign words as possible in order to exclude someone. (Baker, 2006 and Holmes,

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