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Multilingua

Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication

Ed. by Piller, Ingrid

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Online
ISSN
1613-3684
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Volume 26, Issue 4 (Dec 2007)

Issues

Text messaging in Kuwait. Is the medium the message?

Madeline Haggan
  • Kuwait University.
Published Online: 2007-12-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/MULTI.2007.020

Abstract

In Kuwait the use of the mobile phone has spread rapidly and universally and the use of text messaging has become popular among the younger members of society. One aim of the paper was (by means of a questionnaire) to elicit some basic information about users' attitudes and practices with regard to the medium in their culture. Until comparatively recently it was not technically possible to send Arabic text messages using the Arabic alphabet and they had to be sent using the English alphabet. Another aim, therefore, was to ascertain whether Kuwaitis still use the English alphabet for Arabic text messages or whether they make use of the Arabic keypad now available. It was found that while Arabic messages are sent, a substantial percentage of messages use English and a mixture of Arabic and English. Of particular interest is how users use English characters to transcribe their Arabic texts. This raises linguistic and cultural questions which are explored in the paper.

About the article

Published Online: 2007-12-18

Published in Print: 2007-12-19


Citation Information: Multilingua - Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication, ISSN (Online) 1613-3684, ISSN (Print) 0167-8507, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/MULTI.2007.020. Export Citation

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