Language ideologies of Japanese residents of Catalonia: A barrier or a passport towards integration?

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Abstract

This study explores the language ideologies of the Japanese residing in Catalonia. Starting from the hypothesis that this population's perspectives on local languages vary according to its immigration orientation, we interviewed 34 Japanese. Those interviewed had previously completed questions on language habits, based on which they were classified in three subgroups according to the language of predominant usage (Japanese, Spanish, or Catalan). Those belonging to the Japanese group are here temporarily, and their limited knowledge of the receiving society leads them to maintain the ideology of Japan and to base themselves on this ideology when perceiving the sociolinguistic situation of Catalonia. Those interviewed from the remaining groups are long-term residents, and are more familiar with the discourse of the receiving society. Generally, they perceive the two local languages in dichotomous fashion, although the Catalan group differs from the other groups with regards to its perception of Catalan. Catalan is seen as a passport to integration, but the fact that the autochthonous population maintains traditional etiquette means that the language is also perceived as a barrier separating Catalans and foreigners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-105
JournalRevista de Llengua i Dret
Issue number62
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Catalan
  • Japanese
  • Language ideology
  • Language use

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