Original Articles

Determining the appropriate code in a South African business environment


Abstract

During 1999 a research project was undertaken under the auspices of the Pan South African Language Board, in collaboration with a large financial institution, to investigate the use and attitudes with regard to the nine indigenous African languages in a call centre environment. The financial institution concerned makes extensive use of advisors in the call centre to facilitate electronic telephonic banking transactions. In this environment the choice of code as well as the linguistic structure and content of the discourse are critical factors in the client/advisor interaction.

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