Code Switching & Code Mixing by Indonesian English Language Students

Code Switching & Code Mixing:
Style of language use by Bilingualism and Multilingualism English language Students Department in Indonesia

Ummu Imroatus Sholihah, Oktober 2017

Language is an important thing in life to express our thoughts. People have different style of communication according the aims they want to get in producing the language or the background dialect that one has. Mostly, people speak with a certain language or dialect of their mother-tongue. As one knows more about another languages, the use of language and dialects is never constant. Most people tend to change the language and or the dialect when they speak according to the moment they are at. This is when it is called with code switching and or code mixing.

Ayeomoni (2006) writes code mixing as the embedding of various linguistic units such as affixes (bound morphemes), words (unbound morphemes), phrases and clauses from a co-operative activity where the Participants, in order to infer what is intended, must reconcile what they hear with what they understand.  While code switching According to Sobahle (1988), switching defines as follows:
Hymes (1977) defines it as a change from one language variety to another when the situation demands. Gumperz refers to it as a change in languages within a single speech event (Gumperz, 1976). McClure says it is the alternation of language at the level of the major constituent boundaries….. (p.5)

I chose this terms because I am interested in why and how people do code-switching. As far as I read, people do code-switching because of some languages have words that are not available in the others and that makes those languages better for expressing certain idea, we match the language of the listeners’, showing that you and the listener share an identity makes the conversation more pleasant and more effective, to reach a goal, to say something in secret, the slip of tongue out of realization. But then how about the phenomenon that sometimes happened as “An English department student does a code-switching word from Bahasa Indonesia to English in talking to a friends, also some students are even use three codes in communication. Of course it is because translation is not that easy and we tend to use the easier accessibility of a word lexicon in the other language motivates us to use it. But is there another reason? Is it a strength or weakness in doing code switching or code mixing?

It has been my big curiosity of how and why people mix language in communicate. I even took notes of sentences that some my friends who are coming from Javanese culture background, taking concentration on English language and now living in Sundanese culture, are often produce according to their bilingualism background and here are what I found.

From those sentences above, we can see that when doing code mixing or code switching, they tend to use Bahasa Indonesia’s vocabularies since I, as their interlocutor come from a different culture background.

After I spread some questionnaire form to 36 respondents, I found that 66.7 % of them think code switching & code mixing as strength of someone. Because it shows that someone is fluent of using more than one language, also we use another language to express what cannot be exactly expressed in one language, and using more than one language somehow looks cool. Thus, I found that many of them are often do code mixing and code switching. About 61.1 % do it on their mother tongue and second language, and 55.6 % often switch and mix with English as the foreign language they take concentration on. Even 8.3 % of the correspondents state that they always mix with English when they communicate.

From the data collected, I also found that 86.1 % of them did code switching and code mixing since they couldn’t find the right translate of some words/phrases of one language into another language. Another reasons of doing code switching and code mixing are because they were in these situations below:
-          They feel comfortable of the lexical sound of one language’s words.
-          To match the knowledge of the person whom they were talking to.
-          Being emphatic about something (express solidarity): Sorry
-          Talking about particular topic: Hang out yuk
-          Interjection: jangan gitu dong, bro!
-          Repetition used for clarification
-          Expressing group identity: Mana Tupperware ku?
-          To soften or strengthen request or command: Ih, aku di kick. Let’s do it gaes..

-          To be sound trendy.

Below is the result I got from a the questionnaire; showing the six result of why the students do code-switching and code-mixing.