Language Policy

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 137–155 | Cite as

Turning local bilingualism into a touristic experience

  • Larissa Semiramis Schedel
Original Paper


Local languages/varieties play a key role in the construction of an authentic and local tourism experience. This is also the case in the bilingual town of Murten, which uses its situation at the language border between the French- and the German-speaking part of Switzerland and the local bilingualism to attract and entertain tourists in different ways. Taking the example of a theatrical bilingual guided tour, this paper focuses on the linguistic management adopted by the involved touristic institutions in order to package and adjust the local linguistic diversity to turn it into a touristic experience that can be commodified on the tourism market.


Bilingualism Language policy Commodification Performance Tourism Guided tours 



The author wishes to thank Sebastian Muth, Alfonso Del Percio, Alexandre Duchêne, Liliane Meyer Pitton, Saskia Witteborn, and the reviewers for their useful comments and suggestions, as well as Philippe Humbert who helped to collect parts of the data for this contribution. Many thanks go further to Cynthia Stoye for making my English more reader-friendly. Any mistakes are my own responsibility.


The research project “Formulation, Performance and Instrumentalisation of the German–French Language Border in Swiss Tourism” (Number 143184) was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. The grant was jointly held by Prof. Iwar Werlen and Prof. Alexandre Duchêne. Research leading to this article has also benefitted from ongoing discussions on the “new speaker” theme as part of the EU COST Action IS1306 network entitled “New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe: Opportunities and Challenges”.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of MultilingualismUniversity of FribourgFribourgSwitzerland

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