Chapter 7. Language diversity management on corporate websites

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The issues addressed in this contribution raise the question of language choices on companies’ websites and their implications for communication and access to information (fairness and equity) in the corporate sector. While the importance of the Internet as a means of communication and marketing for the corporate sector has been acknowledged, little attention has been paid to the linguistic dimension and the implications of this tool for business communication. This chapter examines the way in which companies cope with the linguistic diversity on their websites in order to identify possible models of language management as well as the eventual consequences of such choices for the structure and the content of a website. For the first stage, using a quantitative approach (statistical tools), we try to “map” the websites of fourteen surveyed companies in order to identify their degree of monolingualism/multilingualism, the sections that would be interesting to focus on with regard to understanding the policies of multilingual and multicultural content management, as well as a certain number of recurrent strategies. For the second stage, specific attention is given to conceptualizing the ways monolingual and multilingual resources have been mobilized in two website sections: job offers and the sale of products. On the one hand, job offers, being oriented towards future employees, are aimed at giving information about the company’s requirements. On the other hand, the products’ section is used as a market-oriented tool to accomplish the company’s main objective which is to “sell”.


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