Trilingual Internet Use, Identity, and Acculturation among Young Minority Language Speakers: Some Data from Transylvania and Finland

  • 1 Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki
  • 2 Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki


The purpose of the present paper is to explore the dynamics of trilingual Internet use and its relation to minority language identity and acculturation among young Swedish speakers in Finland (N = 201) and Hungarian speakers in Transylvania (N = 388). Typically, a feature of linguistic minorities, trilingualism, provides speakers with the competence to move outside their original cultural realm, a feature that is rewarding at an individual level but may form a threat to the minority language culture. The results indicate in both contexts an extensive use of English alongside the minority language and a restricted amount of use of the majority language on the Internet. Majority language and English-language Internet use are strongly related to acculturation towards majority language speakers and English speakers in both contexts. Majority-language Internet use is significantly and negatively associated with minority language identity among participants in Transylvania but not among participants in Finland. Most interestingly, however, English-language Internet use is significantly and negatively related to minority language identity in both contexts. The findings and their theoretical implications are discussed.

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