An Analysis on the Forms and Functions of Code-Switching and Code-Mixing as Communication Strategies Used by Malaysian Japanese-Language Tour Guides

Authors: Roswati Abdul Rashid (University Malaysia Terengganu) , Roslina Mamat (University Putra Malaysia)
Speakers: Roswati Abdul Rashid
Strand: Discourse Analysis
Session Type: General Session


Code-mixing and code-switching are linguistic phenomena that occur when speakers use more than one language or linguistic variety in an interaction. It is used to show identification, highlight a topic, or exhibit language skill. It can also be used to convey cultural references or to invite someone to an interactive event. However, if the listener is unfamiliar with the spoken language or dialect, the mixing and switching of these codes might be an impediment to communication or cause misunderstandings. To that purpose, this study will investigate the mixing and switching of codes used by Malaysian Japanese-speaking tour guides while conducting tour sessions with Japanese tourists. Data were collected using the systematic observation approach of audio-visual recordings and observations during interactions in five sets of tour sessions in Malaysian tourist locations. Audio recordings of tour sessions with tour guides are transcribed verbatim, whereas visual and observational records are used to reflect on the context of interactions that cannot be preserved by audio or visual recordings. The findings revealed that these two communication styles were used not because of a lack of vocabulary in Japanese but to facilitate, accelerate, and ensure the accuracy of the information delivered, sometimes with the goal of having an effect on communication. This study will serve as a resource for Japanese-speaking Malaysian tour guides as well as other languages regarding the form and function of using switching and mixing codes as one of the communication strategies used during tourism tour sessions conducted on foreign tourists in Malaysia. The study’s findings are expected to provide a comprehensive picture of the underlying elements of communication among Malaysian tour guides.

Keywords: Code-switching, code-mixing, tour guide, Japanese tourist, Japanese, tour guidance