Adopting Japanese in a popular Chinese video-sharing website: heteroglossic and multilingual communication by online users of

Yi Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The present study investigates the adoption of Japanese by users from a popular Chinese video-sharing website, Over a two-month period, 5,808 instances of language use that involve Japanese language features were sampled from 28,579 video comments. It was found that features of Japanese were often utilized–either entirely in Japanese written script, or as part of Chinese expressions–for various communicative functions such as descriptors and honorifics. The analysis suggests that online communication on the Chinese website is linguistically and symbolically hybrid with Japanese language features and other semiotic signs often mixed with Chinese texts. The involved communicative practices reflect the Bakhtinian notion of heteroglossia characterized with creativity and playfulness. The study further deconstructs the structuralist view of multilingualism (as discussed in) and extends the discussion of linguistic resources beyond discrete linguistic “codes” and traditional notion of language proficiency in digital discourse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-40
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Multilingual Research Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020


  • ACG
  • Chinese
  • Japanese
  • heteroglossia
  • multilingualism

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