START Conference Manager    

ASIST 2012 Annual Meeting 
Baltimore, MD, October 26-30, 2012 

Bridging Languages in Social Networks: How Multilingual Users of Twitter Connect Language Communities?
Irene Eleta and Jennifer Golbeck

Monday, 6:30pm


Multilingual users of social media and social networking sites are invisible - even unconscious - translators. Their language skills and multicultural background could help diminish the segmentation of information spheres online by connecting different language communities. Focusing on the microblogging site Twitter, this study aims at defining and classifying language bridges by looking at the languages and structure of the social networks of multilingual individuals. The social network analysis unveils four types of structures, one of which is defined as a language bridge. The next step of this work in progress aims at providing quantitative measures of this phenomenon, which has not been yet properly described or understood.