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Other research product . 2022

Multilingualism and the status of English in the linguistic landscapes of main tourist attractions in Helsinki : A case study of four churches in Helsinki and their websites

Zhang, Jialei;
Open Access
Published: 01 Jan 2022
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Country: Finland

This thesis reports of a case study exploring the linguistic landscapes of four churches in Helsinki and their official websites. The aim of the study was to explore multilingualism and the status of English in the linguistic landscapes of main tourist destinations in Helsinki. In particular, the study aimed to find out how different languages, particularly English, are used in the linguistic landscape of Finnish tourism, as well as the reasons for this. Simultaneously, it explored the differences between on-site and online linguistic landscapes to find out how they affect visitors’ experiences. The data consist of photographs collected on-site in the four churches and the different language versions of the church websites. The thesis analysed the linguistic landscapes (LL) and virtual linguistic landscapes (VLL) by categorizing the collected data as monolingual or multilingual signs, as well as the appearing language order and the materiality of signs as temporary or permanent. The findings revealed that numerous languages were used in the LL and VLL, but Finnish remained the dominant language, with English, Swedish, and Russian coming in next. The number of languages on the websites was fewer than the number of languages on-site. A noteworthy discovery is that English was used more frequently than Swedish, even though Swedish is one of Finland’s national languages. English was also a common language in these churches since it was used in more temporary signs than permanent signs to transmit most of the current and up-to-date information to visitors. Based on the findings, the LL of the churches are mostly accessible to tourists, but that consistency of the signage could be thought out more thoroughly. With the increasing number of foreign tourists, more language versions of LL can be added, particularly English version, which is the world’s lingua franca. Some LL with grammatical and spelling mistakes can also be appropriately updated in order to provide visitors a better travel experience.


churches, English language, linguistic landscape, multilingualism, tourism, virtual linguistic landscape, ei opintosuuntaa, no specialization, ingen studieinriktning, Englannin kielen ja kirjallisuuden maisteriohjelma, Master's Programme in English Studies, Magisterprogrammet i engelska språket och litteraturen

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