SIMULTANEOUS CONVERSATIONSSimultaneous Conversations: Rinse and Gargle is an animated short film that explores the complexities of immigrant families and their language barriers. Due to this, code switching occurs in everyday conversations. Code switching in this context is alternating between two or more languages in a single conversation.
The film is of a conversation between me and my mother. Since our first languages are different due to my cross-cultural upbringing, I code switch to English because of my inability to conjure up the words in Cantonese. Thus also resulting in the introduction of digital translators as a tool to further our conversations. Not only am I talking to my mother on the phone but I am also simultaneously code switching and using Google Translate, creating a multidimensionality in our communication.
Dimensional Dialogues: Ways to Code Switch is a trilogy of animated films that explore the myraid of ways and motivations by which individuals code switch. In this context, code switching refers to the alternation between two or more languages in a single conversation. I’m specifically looking at code switching between English and Cantonese. In my body of work I have illustrated three:
1) The lack of knowledge and inability to conjure up terms in Cantonese when conversing with parents. Due to this, digital translators are introduced as a tool for communication to further the exchange, creating an aspect of simultaneity in daily dialogues.
2) Lexical gaps in English due to the lack of perfect equivalence between languages, which engenders switching to Cantonese for easier comprehension and semantic accuracy.
3) Having the desire to switch between the languages of English and Cantonese when talking with friends who speak the same ones. Through this shared experience, it creates a sense of belonging, allowing for complete understanding.
Depending on the situation and the individual one is talking to, code switching arises fundamentally out of necessity or desire.
Through design, I investigate the ways by which multilingual people communicate and negotiate the boundaries of language. The films do not provide any English subtitles in order to deliberately modulate accessibility, thus varying the viewing experience for different audiences depending on their language backgrounds.