[Air-l] Language Choice Online: Globalization and Identity in Egypt

Mark Warschauer markw at uci.edu
Wed Aug 7 03:54:04 PDT 2002

And another...

Language Choice Online: Globalization and Identity in Egypt
by Mark Warschauer, Ghada R. El Said, and Ayman Zohry

The dominance of English on the Internet in the medium's early years 
caused great consternation about a possible threat to local languages 
and cultures. Though the hegemony of English online has since 
weakened, there is still concern about how English and other 
languages interact online, but there has been almost no research on 
this issue. This paper combines linguistic analysis, a survey, and 
interviews to examine English and Arabic language use in online 
communications by a group of young professionals in Egypt. The study 
indicates that, among this group, English is used overwhelmingly in 
Web use and in formal e-mail communication, but that a Romanized 
version of Egyptian Arabic is used extensively in informal e-mail 
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.

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