Bilingualism in Commercial Advertisements: The Case of Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa University


The purpose of this study is to investigate bilingualism in commercial advertisement. Based on the objectives of the study, data was gathered through the use of questionnaires and interviews as well as informal conversations held with the respondents of the questionnaire. According to the findings, bilingualism is found to be playing an important role in commercial advertisement in order to communicate better with the speakers of different languages who are the target audiences of the advertisers. Bilingual advertisement has also the advantage of creating a sense of identity and belonging sens with the speakers of the languages used for advertisement in addition to informing about the products and services. Moreover, the study reveals that the communicative effects and the creation of identity in bilingual advertisements serve as means to enable advertisers to increase their sales and profitability. Concerning the attitudes of advertisers towards using bilingual advertisement, majority of them have shown positive attitudes. Different reasons have been provided by advertisers for using bilingual advertisement, the main ones being, the communicative advantage of bilingual advertisement, its advantage of creating a sense of identity and its advantage of enabling organizations to be more memorable by the different language speakers. The majority of the advertisers use different ways of getting feedback regarding the advantage of bilingual advertisement while the rest have no means of any kind. All the advertising organizations emphasized the communicative advantage rather than the status of the language in their use of code switching and English language in their bilingual advertisement.



Bilingualism, Commercial, Advertisements