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Hall’s Theory of Contexting and Mobile Application Attributes

  • The Journal of Translation Studies
  • Abbr : JTS
  • 2023, 24(3), pp.183-214
  • DOI : 10.15749/jts.2023.24.3.006
  • Publisher : The Korean Association for Translation Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Interpretation and Translation Studies
  • Received : August 15, 2023
  • Accepted : September 19, 2023
  • Published : September 30, 2023

Lee Hwayeon 1 Sung, Seung-eun 1

1한국외국어대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Hall’s Theory of Contexting, which differentiates between high and low-context cultures, has been a prominent framework to understand ways of communication across various cultures. However, this theory may lead to overgeneralization if not applied with caution. Moreover, the pervasive use of the internet in today’s global society could potentially blur the traditional cultural distinctions. To explore these dynamics, this study compares the mobile applications of McDonald’s and Burger King used in the U.S. and in South Korea, which serve as archetypal examples of low and high context cultures, respectively. McDonald’s and Burger King were chosen because of the global recognition of their products and services, encapsulated in the term McDonaldization, which raises the question of whether traditional cultural context distinctions remain relevant in the digital applications of these global companies. The result of the analysis, however, revealed distinct differences in the design and attributes of the mobile applications between the two cultures. This study builds upon a small number of previous works in translation studies that utilized Hall’s theory, extending its application beyond text analysis. It also offers a new perspective by applying the theory of contexting to mobile application design and attributes, a topic rarely explored in translation studies.

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