Language in Multi Cultural
Baruch College, CUNY
Laura A. Peracchio
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Advertisers areoperating inan increasingly multi cultural marketplace. As U. S. consumers become more diverse, the yrepresent a growing variety of ethnicand cultural backgrounds and many are likely to speak other languages inaddition to English. As a result, advertisers whotarget ethnic bilingual segments of the population must often address the se questions: Should wetranslate our ads into our consumers' first language even though the y understand English? If so, what types of adsshould betranslated?
Language, a manifestation of culture(Hofstede, 1997), influences consumers' re actions to marketing communications. Recently, anumber of consumer research studies examined the relationship between the language of astimulus (e. g., adsor br and names) and individuals' cognitive and affective responses to that stimulus. Most of those studies followed a psycholinguistics approachin that the y adapted methods from cognitive psychology to examine howpeople whospeak different languages process information. Research exploring language effects on consumer behavior can beclassifiedintwo groups: (a) studies that compare how monolingual speakers of different languages process information and (b) studies that examine how bilingual individuals mayprocessastimulus differently depending on its language. The study of bilingual individuals is particularly relevant to advertisers