Discovering the variances in language and culture: A comparison of Chinese and english language advertisements

Cheah Kiu Choon Tng, Siew Chin Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Language and images used in advertisements, other than the dissemination of information, are more likely to reveal the cultural identity embedded in the advertisements. It is believed that the Chinese Language emphasises rhythmic use while the English Language is more likely to be more simple and direct. An added factor is the presence of Chinese culture, which tends towards collectivism and the allusion of the concept of auspiciousness, as opposed to the Western emphasis on individualism. As a result, advertising language in Chinese advertisements tends towards retaining the language's oriental traditional values, while the anglised version of the same advertisement often highlights personal accomplishments. This study examined two sets (a total of four advertisements) of the same advertisements published in both Chinese and English Language newspapers, magazines or 'business information' booklets in Malaysia; where the same pictures and backgrounds are retained. The findings indicate that the Chinese version tends to convey extra information and that these advertisements tend to embed more values that are traditional and cultural in comparison to their English counterparts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-66
Number of pages12
JournalPertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities
Volume24
Issue numberFebruary
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016

Fingerprint

English language
language
advertising language
collectivism
individualism
Language
Chinese Language
cultural identity
magazine
Malaysia
Values
newspaper

Keywords

  • Advertising discourse
  • Cultural identity
  • Cultural representation
  • Image symbolism
  • Language and culture
  • Social representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Discovering the variances in language and culture : A comparison of Chinese and english language advertisements. / Tng, Cheah Kiu Choon; Lee, Siew Chin.

In: Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Vol. 24, No. February, 01.02.2016, p. 55-66.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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