Linguistic Landscape in Zhongli, Taoyuan
By May, Noémie and Canan
Let's begin with some definitions
Linguistic landscapes are "the visibility of languages on objects that mark the public space in a given territory", like everyday pictures, signs, boards or street decorations.
(Definition found in http://conference.pixel-online.net/FOE/files/foe/ed0004/PPT/0896-SLA557-PPT-FOE4.pdf)
Goal of the project
We wanted to cover three different spaces in Zhongping shopping area, in the city of Zhongli, and analyse it in the concept of linguistic landscapes. We filmed our video on the day of 16th October 2016.
Choice of the subject
Since Zhongping shopping area is close to where we live and study and based on our knowledge about Zhongping area, we visited this district to find different areas to analyse.
Because we had three people in our group, we divided the project into three parts. May was responsible for the first part, which is introducing the outline of the project and researching the south-eastern district. Noémie did the second part which is related to young people area, and Canan was responsible for the last part dealing with the traditional area, and for the conclusion of the whole project.
We used cellphones to film our video and take pictures. We also took pictures from Internet (sources of these pictures on our video or in the description of the video). We edited our video with MovieMaker.
Problems and challenges
We only encountered one problem for this project. When we visited Zhongping shopping area, the weather wasn't in a good condition and it started to rain not long after we began to film. We filmed our video in a hurry and searched for photos online since some pictures we took weren't good enough. We also went to Zhongping area again when the weaaher got better to cover the pictures we hadn't collect in the first place.
During the process of editing, we skipped parts we considered as not important, like the walking process, and made some parts rapid to maintain the stable tempo of our video. We didn't want to cut the walking process because we could see all the streets clearly, so we just sped it up.
After we posted our video on Youtube, we had some comments and responses that we analysed below.
These are the received comments.
We had six main comments under our video. We took screenshots of them for the analyse. The comments were posted from the 14th December 2016 until the 30th December 2016.
There are nine participants. We know for sure that seven are French and two, including the moderator, are Taiwanese. All the participants made one video-turn (turn referring to triggering video clip).
Languages and content
Four of the comments are written in English and two in French.
Let’s begin with the English-written ones. They all mentioned that the video allows to “understand Taiwanese culture”, “discover Taiwan” or “discover the city”. They all had positive criticism, except one which had negative criticism too. All the comments are written in good English.
One comment includes a question addressed to the moderator, which could have induced a discussion but it didn’t (video addressivity: turns addressing the video or organization that host it).
For the French ones, there are three participants. The two comments show the interest of the writers to come to Taiwan. Since the moderator can’t speak French fluently, I took the liberty to answer them. As you can see, the second French person responded to the first comment by making her own comment, to express her agreement and maybe create a discussion (backchannels: short reaction to prior comment).
The moderator answered all the comments, except for the French ones, and the questions with politeness and joyfully.
Opening with the studied articles
Link to the articles “Against Technologization: Young People’s New Media Discourse as Creative Cultural Practice” and "Young People's Translocal New Media Uses: A Multiperspective Analysis Of Language Choice And Heteroglossia"
This video can be linked to the two articles mentioned above with the idea of translocality, with the mixed languages written in a lot of signs’ shops (English with Chinese for example, or Thai and Chinese). During the process of our visiting, we do observe condition of the heteroglossia exists in Zhongping shopping area. With the influence of translocality, Chinese, English and southeastern languages become tools for both merchants and visitors, so that everyone can well enjoy their time while shopping and able to understand the content of the shops presented. We could link as well this video as a way of communicating, to young people, with the use of Youtube support to pass on knowledge about Zhongli. It is a convenient way to develop our communication skills with this kind of media.
Link to the article “An exploration of why people participate in Second Life social support groups”
This project can be linked to this article on the subject of “social support”. Indeed, our project is mainly addressed to foreigners and can be considered as a “support” to foreigners living in Zhongli. It can help them understand more about Taiwan’s culture and about Zhongli’s history and environment as they could, maybe, have difficulties understanding some of its parts. It can offer them information and act as a guide.
The aim of our project was to introduce Zhongli and its linguistic characteristics. We have done it in the form of a report. We have shown how Zhongli is an attractive place for foreigners and teenagers due to its signs translated into different languages and due to its modernity. We also have shown how Zhongli is still attached to its history. The comments under our video are all positive, every person has written that they could know more about Taiwan and about its culture and its different aspects so we believe our aim was achieved.