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The uses and representations of local languages in tourist destinations: A view from British TV holiday programmes

Ylänne, Virpi, Jaworski, Adam, Thurlow, Crispin and Lawson, Sarah 2003. The uses and representations of local languages in tourist destinations: A view from British TV holiday programmes. Language Awareness 12 (1) , pp. 5-29. 10.1080/09658410308667063

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This paper analyses instances of the use and representation of local languages (other than English) in British TV holiday shows. Although most hosts/locals featured in the holiday programmes use English to communicate with the travelling journalists, regardless of the official status of English in their territories, it is not uncommon for the presenters to initiate interaction with the locals in their native language, to quote 'foreign' language phrases in their commentaries/narratives, or to make metalinguistic and metapragmatic comments about these languages. Overall, the uses of languages other than English in the data are fairly limited, although their examination offers an interesting ideological gloss on the politics of non-English language use by tourists. Generally, the ethos of the programmes positions English as a global language, with the local languages reduced to the status of a handful of fixed phrases found in guidebook glossaries and exoticised linguascapes. The predominant pattern of non-English language use in these programmes is through the instances of language crossing, which allows the presenters of the programmes to orient to their TV audiences through a performative frame as a group of (implied) tourists whose default identity resides firmly within the national and linguistic boundaries of their Britishness/Englishness.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 0965-8416
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 01:51

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