An Analysis of the English language used in Algerian Restaurant Menus
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Our research is meant to be a contribution to the studies that have already investigated in the Algerian linguistic landscape in the field of gastronomy. It involves an analysis of a bunch of restaurant menus written in English or containing words in English. These restaurants are located mainly in Algiers, the capital of Algeria. The present work aims to reach three different objectives. First, it seeks to clarify the diverse factors that motivate the Algerian restaurant owners to opt for the use of English in their restaurant menus as a common language to communicate their customers. Second, it aims to scrutinize the way the menus grammatically constructed. Third, it intends to shed light on the translation problems in the menus. As for the corpus, it consists of 35 menus taken from the restaurants web sites along with an online structured interview with 6 owners of the selected restaurants. To reach our objectives, we resorted to MAK Halliday’s social semiotic approach to language. Our research is qualitative in nature, it draws on data collected from the interview, relying on the qualitative content analysis (QCA) so as to unveil the ideologies of the restaurant owners. The conclusion we have reached is that the universality of the dish name, the geographical situation of the area or the setting, as well as the influence of the foreign cultures involved in our study, are the major reasons that have incited the Algerian restaurant owners to use English while writing the menus. It is also revealed that complex and simple structures are the two identified types of sentences used in the menus. In addition, the most translation problems found in the analyzed corpus are mainly spelling mistakes and word order patterns.
- Département d'Anglais