Mapping the Linguistic Landscape of Old Bund of Ningbo through Translanguaging Theory

Huizhi Cao *

Faculty of Foreign Languages, Ningbo University, Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province, China.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Aims: To explore the overall features of Old Bund of Ningbo’s linguistic landscape and investigate readers’ perceptions of it, as well as the reasons for using different language symbols on store signs.

Study Design: In the initial stage, data were collected using fieldwork methods, including collecting language samples and distributing questionnaires. After that, the collected data were analyzed using the Translanguaging Theory [1].

Place and Duration of Study: Old Bund of Ningbo, between November 2022 and December 2022.

Methodology: The researchers mapped out two steps for data collection. The digital devices were used to gather data and 150 questionnaires were handed out to shop owners, residents, and tourists.

Results: First, the study found that the overall characteristics of Old Bund’s linguistic landscape. Bottom-up linguistic landscape is more diverse than top-down signs. The majority of signs were a combination of Chinese and English, especially in restaurants and beverage shops. Second, the finding shows that shop owners, tourists, and residents have varying attitudes and perspectives towards linguistic landscape in this site.Generally speaking, there is a positive attitude towards it.

Conclusion: This study applies translanguaging theory to analyze the linguistic landscape of Ningbo’s Old Bund, focusing on reader perceptions and reasons for language choice on store signs. Data collection involved 131 images, questionnaires, and interviews. Bilingual signs are most common, followed by monolingual and multilingual. Simplified Chinese characters prevail, with English also prominent. Tourists generally approve, but residents worry about modernization eroding traditional culture. Official signs are standard and simplified, while private signs are diverse and vivid. Shop name design is influenced by individual preference and commercial considerations.

Recommendations: First, researchers can expand the range of interviewers to capture more comprehensive data. Second, two or more sites can be selected as research objective to assure the accuracy of results.

Keywords: Multilingual linguistic landscape, translanguaging, Old Bund of Ningbo, language attitudes

How to Cite

Cao, Huizhi. 2024. “Mapping the Linguistic Landscape of Old Bund of Ningbo through Translanguaging Theory”. Asian Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies 7 (2):313-29.


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