Student Seeks Intercultural Couples Using Mandarin & English for Research

Susanna Wickes & Mr. Wang
Susanna Wickes and her husband, Mr. Wang

Are you part of an intercultural couple using Mandarin and English for communication? Susanna Wickes, a master’s student at Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin (and the blogger behind the Inner Mongolian), wants you to participate in a simple online survey (takes 5 minutes or less to complete!) available in English and Chinese.

Here’s the story behind the project, straight from Susanna:

The idea basically came from my own relationship with my husband, and my interest in the strange, mixed-up language that we’ve made up over time as we’ve got to know each other and learned each other’s languages.

The project involves exploring in detail the ways that couples like us talk to each other in everyday life. The languages (English and Mandarin Chinese) and the intercultural dynamic are something all the couples have in common, but because each couple will have their own unique situation – where they live, their proficiency level in each other’s language, the length of their relationship, and so on – they will also have developed their own personal style of communication. And it’s this that I’m hoping to capture in the diaries and conversations that my participants create and send to me.

Being in a relationship with someone from a very different culture often means that both partners take on a new identity. Not just the identity of “wife” or “husband” but also aspects of the other person’s life and culture become your own. One of the main aims of my project is to look at how language use reflects the sense of “shared identity” that intercultural couples experience when they create a life together.

The surveys (in English and Chinese) are really simple to fill out. If you have five minutes and meet the requirements, Susanna would be enormously grateful for your help!

And if you’d like to be a more active participant in Susanna’s project — such as keeping a diary — you can leave her your contact information at the end of the survey to let her know.


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