Review of “Advertising as multilingual communication”

‘Rouges à lèvres’ in a German advertisement for lipsticks, Italian accents in a voice-over in a Dutch television commercial, English links on a Japanese website. With the increase in the number of multilingual advertisements and studies relating to their use and effects, the need for an insightful account of this domain has also increased. Advertising as multilingual communication has been anticipated by researchers in the field, and will certainly not disappoint them. Helen Kelly-Holmes’ book explains in a very well-written way how advertising discourse uses foreign languages – on the one end of a continuum – as a means of communication with speakers of a minority language in a country or – on the other end – as a linguistic symbol that creates positive associations in the minds of the receivers of the advertisement. Advertising as multilingual communication is well structured around a few domains in which multilingual advertising occurs, and benefits from a rich collection of examples that the author has gathered from a variety of media and sources over a number of years.

  • Hornikx, J. (2006). Review of “Advertising as multilingual communication” by Helen Kelly-Holmes. Communications, The European Journal of Communication Research, 31 (2), 247-249. [pdf]

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