Semiotic influences of Linguistic Landscapes in the Little Japan Towns in Ho Chi Minh City-Vietnam


  • Ly Thi Phuong Tran Professor of Faculty of Linguistics, Social Science Education Department, Saigon University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Truc Ngoc Thanh Hoang Masters Student of Linguistics, Saigon University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


linguistic landscapes, multilingual, signs, Little Japan Town, Vietnam


Purpose The research aimed to study the sense of permanence of interaction between Japanese culture and local Vietnamese culture through monolingual, bilingual and multilingual signboards in the Hồ Chí Minh City (HCMC), the most populous and industrialized metropolis in Vietnam. The purpose was to examine how Linguistic landscape research focuses on the relationships between written languages in public spaces and the social structure.

Methods This research study adopted a theoretical and practical background study approach to study the linguistic landscape theory, using the quantitative method of research. A total of 436 images were collected including signboards, notice boards, billboards, etc. from three districts identified for the study. The acquired data was categorized into two primary groups: one based on the functional scope and the other on linguistic composition. The data analysis methods included image analysis, conceptualizing and investigating the signboards in their contexts. The paper also used the method of discourse analysis to explore how language policies affected the linguistic landscape in the surveyed areas. Findings The data yielded from all three survey areas, in all linguistic components, revealed a higher frequency of English, as compared to other languages (e.g., Japanese and Vietnamese). The statistical results showed many disparities in the linguistic landscapes which contributed to creating a picture of a common linguistic landscape. It was also evident that English and Japanese were prioritized in usage as compared to Vietnamese. Implications for Research and Practice: The study would help better understand the Japanese community living in Vietnam. Its findings would be applicable in practical situations such as teaching Japanese in Vietnamese educational institutions, as a good supplement to teaching form books and classroom teaching.