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  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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In multilingual advertising, a foreign language is often used for symbolic purposes. Symbolic associations carried by the foreign language are assumed to transfer to the product advertised. Although a number of suggestions have been made as to the associations generated by foreign language use, it has never been tested what associations are actually evoked in the minds of the consumers, and whether these association are only positive. In an experimental study, 78 Dutch respondents were asked to write down their associations with advertisements for one product which were identical except for the foreign language in which they were written (French, German, or Spanish). Some associations were shared by the three languages, but there were also large differences in the kinds of associations. Half of the associations with French and Spanish were positive. With German, only a third of the associations were positive and a relatively high number of negative associations were found.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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