Culture, Imagined Audience, and Language Choices of Multilingual Chinese and Korean Students on Facebook

  • Ha Kyung KongEmail author
  • Y. Wayne Wu
  • Brian Bailey
  • Karrie Karahalios
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9471)


Multilingual users of social networking sites (SNSs) write in different languages for various reasons. In this paper, we explore the language choice of multilingual Chinese and Korean students studying in the United States on Facebook. We survey the effects of collectivist culture, imagined audience, and language proficiency on their language choice. Results show that multilingual users use language for dividing and filtering their imagined audience. Culture played two contrasting roles; users wanted to share their culture in English but share their emotions in their native language. Through this work, we hope to portray language choice not as a tool for exclusion but of consideration for the potential audience and adherence to one’s culture.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ha Kyung Kong
    • 1
    Email author
  • Y. Wayne Wu
    • 1
  • Brian Bailey
    • 1
  • Karrie Karahalios
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer Science DepartmentUniversity of Illinois Urbana ChampaignChampaignUSA

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