Six Moments Of Code-Switching In Popular Culture | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Six Moments Of Code-Switching In Popular Culture

All this week, pegged to our launch, we've been doing stories of code-switching, the practice of mixing languages or ways of expressing yourself in conversation. In popular culture, celebrities and others have shown us all sorts of motivations of why someone might employ code-switching. Here are some of them:

1. You don't want to sound like an outsider.

2. You shift between two languages and two dialects in the same sentence, because that's the way your family rolls.

(The rapid-fire switch from English --> Cantonese --> Mandarin starts around 0:16.)

3. Because, really, that's the way your family rolls.

4. You hate it when others try way too hard.

5. You know that translating isn't always easy.

6. You just want to "bro hug" Kevin Durant.


What are your favorite code-switching moments in popular culture? Share with us in the comments below, or tweet at us and use #codeswitching.

Kat Chow is a social media journalist and blogger for Code Switch. Follow her at @katchow, and the team at @NPRCodeSwitch.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Novelist Nuruddin Farah: Facing A Blank Page Is 'Bravest Thing' A Writer Does

Farah's latest is called Hiding in Plain Sight. It's the story of Bella, a Somali photographer living in Rome who gets drawn into the lives of her niece and nephew after her half-brother is killed.
NPR

Tracing A Gin-Soaked Trail In London

Around the world, new gin distilleries are popping up like mushrooms after a rain. NPR traces the boom to its historic roots in London, which once had 250 distilleries within the city limits alone.
NPR

Ballot Questions Draw Voters In 43 States

Ballot measures cover a lot of ground this year — from minimum wage to school calendars to one involving doughnuts and bear hunting. NPR's Charlie Mahtesian takes NPR's Scott Simon through the list.
NPR

Tech Week: Voice Mail Hang-Ups, Apple Pay And Zuckerberg's Chinese

In this week's roundup, Apple rolls out its mobile payment system but confronts a security test in China, the problem with voice mail messages and Mark Zuckerberg shows off his Mandarin.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.