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Code Mixing Used by Returned Migrant Workers in Their Social Media Posts


This paper delves into the rationales as to why Indonesian migrant workers (mainly those who own private Korean language courses) like to use code mixing. They tend to add or insert Korean language either in Hangeul or its transliterated versions onto their social media posts, Facebook in particular. The fact that they are basically returned migrant workers with no formal background of Korean language education and the fact that they do this code (language) mixing so often has motivated the researcher to explore this phenomenon further. Online data gathering and online interviews with 4 respondents were conducted and 33 tokens of code-mixing and code switching were collected. This research attempts to reveal whether they want to show their particular identity as returned migrant workers who are different from the rest or they are simply a marketing gimmick for their business. The goal of the research is to determine the relationship between the use of the Korean language and the identities these returned migrant workers from Korea opt to project, the options being: identity as a returned migrant worker, identity as an owner of LPK (Korean Language Training Center), or other identities that can be revealed through this research.

The research indicates that despite the fact that there are equivalent words or phrases in Indonesian, they do code mixing to emphasize that Korean words are sometimes more appropriate in certain contexts to express something they feel or think. Second, they do code-mixing to show their closeness to Korea and their breadth of knowledge about Korea. Third, they do code mixing as a way to show their academic background. Hence, a special identity to perpetuate an image of themselves as a returned migrant worker who is now an entrepreneur managing Korean language institutions as well as being a teacher.


code mixing, Korean language, LPK, returned migrant workers, social media post



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