Hi. Keefak? Ça va?

Hi. Keefak? Ça va?

What language(s) do they speak in Beirut?

According to an interesting programme and article I came across today, many people in Beirut speak Arabic, French and English, and frequently switch between them, often using two of them, or all three in the same sentence.

While some might see this kind codeswitching as a sign that people haven’t learnt any of the languages completely, others believe it is a way people express their Lebanese identity. In fact, codeswitching requires a good knowledge of all the languages you’re switching between, especially when it occurs within sentences.

Are there other places where most people regularly codeswitch between three of more languages like this?

In Wales codeswitching between English and Welsh is common, and with some of my friends we add French, and/or other languages, into the mix.

2 thoughts on “Hi. Keefak? Ça va?

  1. That’s interesting. I’ve seen this a lot in other languages as well. One that I was particularly intrigued by was “Konglish”, or Hong Kong English. It’s of course not unusual to hear people use English and Cantonese sometimes in the same sentence, but there’s even a publication now called Konglish Daily that writes the way people talk. It’s pretty interesting. Check it out here; https://www.facebook.com/Kongish-Daily%E6%B8%AF%E8%AA%9E%E6%97%A5%E5%A0%B1-601711619970760/timeline/

  2. Indonesian recently came out on top in a cellphone company survey of which countries have the highest numbers of trilinguals, and Javanese-Indonesian-English codeswitching, as well as even codeswitching among three Indonesian languages, is fairly common.

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