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Multilingual and Multicultural Communication
The last 50 years or so has seen a variety of interdependent processes associated with globalization, including greater geographical, demographic, social and information exchange and mobility, leading to an exponential increase in contacts and communication between cultures and languages. As a result many more people, especially in large urban areas are affected daily by intercultural and multilingual contacts. This is particularly the case in large urban environments around the world where the presence of speakers of hundreds of languages is not unusual. For example, a recent article in The Economist (10/9/2011) claimed that New York City had nearly as many languages (800) as Papua New Guinea, the country often regarded as home to the highest number of languages (according to Ethnologue, around 830). London is reputedly home to several hundred languages.
Recent research, including that by MERCATOR (The Fryske Akademy, The Netherlands) an independent…
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