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Accepted Paper:

Multilingualism, bilingualism or monolingualism: Red cultural signs in tourist destinations in China  
Jinming Yuan (The University of Sydney)

Paper short abstract:

How has the tourist destination negotiated its role between global multilingualism, local bilingualism, and governmental monolingualism?

Paper long abstract:

The superdiversity and complexity of the world require tourist attractions to carter for the interests of international tourists by promoting their local cultures. One effective approach to this is to create a tourist-friendly multilingualism or bilingualism environment. Some Chinese tourist attractions such as Lion Forest Garden in Suzhou, one of the World Cultural Heritage sites in China employ Chinese and English bilingual signage. The preliminary fieldwork in Lion Forest Garden shows that most public signs are in Chinese language and their English translation, but only Chinese is used on red cultural signs in this tourist attraction. Red cultural signs are government-guide signs promoting Chinese virtues, values, and red culture, which have formed a unique scenery in tourist destinations in China. Based on the data collected during the fieldwork, this ​paper analyses the messages in the virtues and values that the red cultural signs attempt to convey, dig up sociolinguistic values behind, and discuss how the tourist destination has negotiated its role between the global multilingualism, the local bilingualism and the governmental monolingualism.

Panel P125b
Participation and Linguistic Ethnography
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -