Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Language, Education, Humanities, and Innovation 2017

Linguistic Landscape of a Multilingual Community in Malaysia

Soon Chiow Thai, Siti Aishah Ramli, Nur Shafiekah Sapan

University of Malaysia Sabah


This paper explores the patterns of Romanisation of Chinese company signage in a Federal Territory in Malaysia. The main aim of this paper is to examine the notions of linguistic landscape and multilingual language practice in the business domain. This qualitative research applied linguistic landscape of Ben-Rafael (2009) to study the patterns shown by Chinese businessmen in romanising the company signage from Mandarin to either English or/and Malay or other languages and what language/s is/are practised by the businessmen on their company signage besides Mandarin. The data comprising 233 photographs of brand names were collected and analysed by using Content analysis approach. The sound translation has the highest frequency to romanise the Chinese lexis of company names; the English language practice on company names is slightly higher frequency than Malay language practice in the business domain on the island.


Chinese lexis, linguistic landscape, sound translation, English, Malay