9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN22 Sociology of Risk and Uncertainty

2009-09-04 09:00:00 2009-09-04 10:30:00 Friday, 4 September 09:00 - 10:30 Open Session I Building I, 2E4

Risks of Misunderstanding in Multilingual Networks

The paper deals with linguistics diversity as a result of labor migration and expansion of flows of information. Multiplication of Networks links is seen as one of the principles of informational society (democratization). But it is also seen as an obstacle for mutual understanding for operators working within a network (babylonization). Tasks of the paper are: to find out how communicative problems are solved in a case of linguistic diversity of employees within various types (scientific, commercial, educative, et al) of international organizations (IO) & transnational cooperations (TC); what languages tend to expand and how language expansion effect real & virtual public spheres of information, including the street posters of advertising. Commercial advertising has neither geo-political, nor socio-cultural borders. Meanwhile they are not neutral neither for culture no languages of population of Western and Eastern European countries.

A choice and a use of a language as a lingua-franca for public spheres in a case of lingual diversity of population has become one of the urgent items of national policy. One may speculate about risks in a high-technologized society security in connection with of their national languages and cultural heritage. English has become an official language in international aviation, navigation and electronics. But it does not mean that those who work in aviation, navigation and electronics and whose native languages differ from English have proper command of English and can use it for proficiency. English is used as the most popular lingua-franca in EU. And it is a link of exchange between the East and West. It confirms an expansion of English all over the world. But it also means that a number of variables of English have been increased. As a result there are numerous territorial and professional variants of English with a risk of mutual misunderstanding among them. It has become an obstacle is it is used within a Network among operators and R&Ds whose native languages are not English.

Results of survey of misunderstanding of English used by non-native English speakers have been discussed.