Hofstede's cultural dimensions in ELF company websites of European countries: lexical choices in Sweden and Greece

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Hofstede’s model has recently been utilized for the study of communicative and linguistic differences related to cultural differences in a range of oral and written texts (Bjørge 2007; Clyne 1994; Cucchi 2010a, 2010b; Dekker, Rutte and Van den Berg 2008; Hatipoğlu 2006; Katan 2006; Koeman 2007; Loukianenko Wolfe 2008; Meeuwesen, van den Brink-Muinen and Hofstede 2009; Vishwanath 2003). Research applying the model to multimodal texts, however, examined websites in the native languages of culturally very distant countries, such as the U.S., China, India and Japan, and mainly focused on web design (Baack and Singh 2007; Kang and Mastin 2008; Singh, Zhao and Hu 2003, 2005; Zhao, Massey, Murphy and Fang 2003). The present paper aims to verify whether Hofstede’s model can explain the lexical choices in the websites in lingua franca English of local companies of two European countries, Sweden and Greece, which differ significantly along Hofstede’s dimensions. In order to reach this objective and assuming that national identity is particularly manifest in food, a small corpus of local cheese and chocolate companies was set up, and examined qualitatively and quantitatively. Findings show that the Swedish and Greek companies studied put different emphasis on rapport, tradition, quality, achievement and experimentation, thus confirming that Hofstede’s model may be utilized in linguistic research to unveil lexical choices related to cultural differences, even when English is used as a lingua franca in Europe.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteA Cultural Journey through the English Lexicon
Numero di pagine29
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2012


  • ELF usage in Europe
  • language and culture
  • national identity
  • website communication


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