Sunday, May 28, 2006

Bibliography #5

Laskey, Hank A. and Thouvenin, Angelique and Seaton, F. Bruce. "THE LANGUAGE EFFECT IN CROSS-CULTURAL ADVERTISING." Marketing in a Global Economy Proceedings. 2000. pp 398-402

This research paper talks about how marketing and advertising researchers in past studies tend to oversee the importance of language in ads. Researchers are more into the cultural context that effect their target audience responses to advertising campaigns , and tend to forget that language plays an important role too. This paper talk about how different target markets only respond to advertising messages that is congruent with their culture. The three researchers for this paper brought up two language terms coined by Marshall McLuhan (1964); "hot" and "cold" language. These researchers further predicted possible problems regarding emotional advertising campaigns directed towards bilingual markets, if it would be more or less effective in the "hot" versus "cold" language.

The paper's general research question concerns the relative effectiveness across cultures of "linguistically equivalent" versions of image-based and information-based advertising. The researchers indicated that they are particularly interested with the fundamental nature of languages, per se, and the potential for meaningful images, that have obtained a specific communication objective in one language, ad to obtain that objective in another language.

One point that interest me is the principle of "linguistic determinism" contained in Benjamin Whorf (1940; 1956) and Sapir-Whorf (Chandler 1995) hypothesis that states thought processing is determined by language and also states that speakers of different language has a different point of view of the world.


On Language Value System - Talks about how once a language is acquired, so too are the values it inherently contains. It also states further "Just because an individual speaks more than one language does not mean that he is very good at it".

This is an important point, for example , when I was a young 8 year old school kid in Kuala Lumpur, the English subject is a very important subject and usually my English teacher will constantly kept reminding the whole class that if we (my peers and I) want to speak English well, we have to start thinking in English. But of course, that is a very hard thing to do especially that the everyday usage of English in Malaysia, falls 3rd or 4th in the list after Malay (Malaysia's national language), Chinese (Mandarin, Hakka, Cantonese) and Indian (Urdu or Tamil). But English is a widely used language in business to business communication in Malaysia especially in the metro area like Kuala Lumpur. And now after 3 years in Melbourne, and being surrounded by mostly English speaking individuals and environment, I am so used to think in English before i start doing anything and this has an affect on my original dominant language. Of course my Malay is still good, but it is not as good as it was before.


Nature of Bilingualism - I found out that that I am a subordinate bilingual person which means individuals whose facility with two languages is unequal, and the lesser language is termed the non-dominant or subordinate language.

The research paper states further on Soloman and Ali's (1975) experiment which showed that subordinate bilinguals are more likely to rely on content for judgments of affective meaning when listening to statements in their non-dominant language. But, they rely more on intonation and other vocal cues for judgement or affective meaning when listening to statements in their dominant language.

Marcos and Urcuyo (1979) states that, "imposed upon the subordinate bilingual is the additional mental operation of constant translation from or into a dominant tongue". This is so true and is what I have always experienced all the time especially when it comes to communicating with English speaking persons'. When I speak English to a native speaker, I have to be spontaneous, and usually that leaves me a split second to digest meanings/message intended and have my thoughts properly organized, and my fluency of the language really depend on my energy levels because if I am tired or not in a good mood, my brain couldn't engage in the 'extra' work or as stated previously by Marcos and Urcuyo (1979), "... additional mental operation..." which results in lousy delivery of the non-dominant language on my part.

When it comes to writing in English, I don't really have much problems aside from having to think of the choice of words I need to use and to worry about other things such as constructing an argument, because when I write, I do not really have to be 'spontaneous', i have the freedom of time to transfer what's in my brain/mind, through my hands, to my fingers and finally onto paper. It is just when it comes to a matter of speaking, what's in my brains have to be transfered almost immediately straight to my mouth/ lungs. Well you get the drift.

Marshall McLuhan (1964) pointed out that some languages are fundamentally more emotional than others and he came out with the term "hot" and "cold" to refer to these two languages types. "Hot" languages were said to contain a lot of emotion, affect and resultant meaning while "cold" language is less rich, leaving more to receivers to provide for themselves.


So guys, I have a question for you, is English considered "hot" or "cold"?
Hmmmm?

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