Instant Messages in Multiple Languages: WhatsApp in Swedish digital communication in Finland

Illustrerad bild av unga vuxna på telefoner.
A research project on multilingualism among Swedish-speakers' digital communication in Finland.
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  4. Edit/Anonymise the donation in our office

Specific editing instructions will be given at a later stage, but essentially, the donor will always have the say on what content to remove or anonymise.

Digital communication drives linguistic innovation

Language is constantly evolving and we, as 'digital natives', are driving a new wave of linguistic change. New generations reform our way of using languages and due to the development of digital tools, these changes are occurring at ever faster speeds. Multilingualism is becoming the expected norm and the lines between spoken and written languages are getting blurry. We find that these trends are valuable and worth researching and documenting.

The project Instant Messages in Multiple Languages: WhatsApp in Swedish digital communication in Finland will result in the compilation of the corpus MMWAH - Mulilingual Multimodal WhatsApp Corpus at Hanken. We will collect data on the languages use of young Swedish-speaking adults in computer-mediated communication. The Svenska Kulturfonden has financed the first two years of the project. 

Next steps

For our task we need data, which in this case means naturally occurring language between people in the target group. The goal is to create a corpus, i.e. a processed text collection. It will be available for linguistic research, language technology and marketing and many other fields. By participating in the research project you will also make a contribution to a better understanding of current language change, multilingualism in practice, code-switching, and the long-time conservation of language.

The collected data will be processed, anonymised and made available online according to the principles of GDPR and Open Science. Donor safety is key and the donor will be in control of all their donated material, as well as able to edit and anonymise it themselves. Informed consent will be collected of all participants in each chat donation. 

Our aim is to document the nature of language use and not the content in itself, i.e., How something is said is our concerns instead of What is said. If you have a WhatApp chat, either group chat or 1-on-1, that you want to donate to our project, instructions for donations are found at the top of the page. 

Any questions or feedback can be sent to us per email!

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Associate Professor

Subject English (Helsinki)

Research Assistant

Centre for Languages and Business Communication

Research Assistant

Centre for Languages and Business Communication