Diversity in a Sino-French Company in Beijing: How Do Employees Manage Their Multilingual Practices?

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Sometimes the idea of multilingualism is connected to understanding problems that can potentially slow down the progress of professional activity in international workplaces. However, social actors often find solutions locally to cope with issues associated with multicultural contexts. Keeping in mind the management of cultural and linguistic diversity, I set out to study how social actors organize talk-in-interaction and coordinate participation in multilingual work meetings. To allow mutual understanding and carry out their work, social actors use various resources such as ad hoc interpreting practices during professional interactions. Drawing on my conversational analysis (CA) background, I will examine how members of a Sino-French company in Beijing use ad hoc interpreting practices and English as a lingua franca (ELF) as methods to resolve the linguistic asymmetries present in a multicultural context where ELF is not always taken for granted. Through analysis of several naturally occurring conversations, I will examine the methods, and verbal and multimodal resources used by ad hoc translators to keep work going and manage each member’s participation.

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Sustainable Multilingualism

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