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English-Thai Code-Mixing in Thai TV Programs
*Thikhamporn Remsringam
**Nannapatsorn Chooprajit
***Waritha Jeeratanayu

The aim of this study is to find out types and influential factors of code-
mixing in Thai TV programs. The writer uses descriptive analysis method by
watching and marking some utterances containing code-mixing and then analyzing
The instrument of this study is non-participatory observation by watching
the video, marking the utterances containing code-mixing, writing the utterances in
a note, and then analyzing by using The writer found .utterances identified
as code-mixing.
The results of this study show that there are utterances are classified as
code mixing cases. The most frequent factors that influencing code-mixing
phenomenon is the change of particular topic in the conversation


Background of the study

In a globalized society, people use more than one language to communicate

with each other.Hardly anyone would disagree that English is the world's most
important language as it hasbecome the medium connecting people across the
globe. Roni (2008) states that English is moreessential than other languages
because it has become the lingua franca for internationalcommunication, allowing
people speaking different languages to interact with each other. It is also essential
in the fields of science, technology, business, mass media and medicine. It seems
that anyone who can use this language will be associated with people around the
People develop some knowledge and ability in a second language and
sobecome bilingual. Spolsky (1998:45) defines the bilingual is a person who has
somefunctional ability in second language. In bilingual communication, two or
more languages areoften use along together. Sometimes the language is mixed or
they are switched to anotherone. These are known as code-mixing and
code-switching. The phenomena of codeswitchingand code mixing of languages
have long intrigued scholar who have examinedwhat triggers such occurrences
(Muysken, 2000). One of the bilingual phenomena is codemixing.

English language was first introduced in Thailand through contact with the
British. Later due to the expansion in education and economic development, many
people have acquired a knowledge of English. Moreover, within the past decade,
Thai society has begun to experience globalization in almost all aspects of life.The
rapid growth of English has been partlyresponsible for globalization because
English has gradually expanded to daily interactions among Thai people. For
example, the desire to use English in some daily life activities, listening to and
watching foreign media, and seeking higher studies in English-speaking country.
This encourages the increase in use of Thai-English Code-mixing or the insertion
of English words, phrases, and sentence in Thai.
A code refers to the language people use in a communication between the
sender and the receiver to serve their needs (Wardhaugh, 1992).People may use
signs, symbols,gestures and rules in combination with a code in the
communication. A choice of a codemay occur when a person can speak more than
one language. A situation where a personcommunicates in one language but
automatically transfers to another is called Code-mixing( Prasithrathsint,
1997).Code-mixing is the intentional mixing of two languages in the same content
(Wardhaugh, 1992).

The use of Code-mixing in everyday conversation in a Thai society is

currentlycommon. E-note study (2011) reveals that a growing number of people
are multi-lingual. As a result, the trend of Code-mixing use can easily be observed.
This is because theEnglish language has a greater impact on Thai people resulting
from several factors. Forexample, industrial expansion, international trade,
interests in western culture, higherstudies, etc. Every day, a number of Thai people
use English both intentionally and unintentionally in their communication in Thai.
Some English words, such as yes, no, ok,thank you and bye-bye, are familiar to a
number of Thai people. According toKannaovakun (2003), the language mixing is
a normal occurrence in Thai conversations.She found that 64% of the Thai people
use English Code-mixing in their conversation forsome reasons. The first one is
that there is no exact word in Thai for a specific Englishword such as (BT:
ice-cream), (BT: spa) and (BT: nightclub). Thesecond one is that some
coined words in Thai are not convenient to use suchas (BT: computer),
(BT: infinity), and (BT: SIM card). The thirdreason is that there is no
equivalent in Thai in many areas, such as in the fields ofmedicine or science;
therefore, English technical terms are inserted in the Thai contextsuch as
( B T : n u c l e a r ) , (B T : g a s o h o l ) a n d (B T : c a l c i u m ) .

Definition of terms
The following are specific key terms used in this study.
Thai-English code-mixing or code-mixing refers to English words used in
Thai as the major language of conversation, which were found in Thai TV
Nativized features refer to the integration of English words into Thai which
causes an effect on English used in Thai as a localized context.
Thai TV programs refer toThe Thai TV programs consist of entertainment
program (Momay with You), sports program (Sport night), and educational
program (Loukgolf's English Room).

Focus of the study

In this research, the researcher is going to analyze the level and features of
code mixing Thai TV program. The data for this study was collected from three
ThaiTV program consist of entertainment program (Momay with You), sport
program (Sport night), and educational program (Loukgolf's English Room).This
study only focused on English language mixed in a Thai context.
Significance of the study
Theoretically, this research will be advantageous for future researches who
would like to conduct the research with similar case, especially in the study of
sociolinguistics as additional reference. Practically, this research is expected to
give valuable knowledge of code mixing for people especially bilingual speakers in
order to use the proper code choices while communicating with others.


Code mixing
Wardhaugh (1986, p. 103) states that code mixing occurswhen conversants
use both languages together to extend that theychange from one language to other
in the course of a singleutterance. In addition, Redlinger& Park (1980, cited in
Hoffmann:1991) define language mixing as the combining of elements from
twolanguages in a single utterance. It occurs when a speaker uses acertain language
in his communication; however, he inserts some pieces of another language.
Therefore, it can be concluded that codemixing is a speaker inserts or mixes two
languages in a singleutterances and it usually occurs in informal situation.
According to Wardhaugh (1986) there are two kinds of codemixing. They
are situational and conversational. Situational codemixing occurs when conversant
use both languages together to theextent that they change from one language to the
other in the courseof a single utterance. What we observe is that one variety is used
in acertain set situations and another in an entirely different set.However, the
changeover from one to the other may be instantaneousor spontaneous related with
the topic being discussed. Situationalcode mixing occurs when the language used
change according to thesituation in which the conversant find them; they speak one
languagein one situation and another language in different one. But,conversational
code-mixing involves the deliberate mixing of twolanguages without an associated
topic change.
In short, such conversational code-mixing is often used by bilinguals,
primarily as a solidarity marker. A speaker who mixes codes in this way in
conversation with a friend of acquaintance will almost certainly shift entirely to
English when addressing a JEELS, Volume 2, Number 1, May 2015 121
monolingual English-speaking person or entirely Spanish origin. The people to
make the situational or condition lively usually use conversational code mixing.

Different researchers have tried to define the term code, code-mixing

(Ayeomoni, 2006; Belly, 1976; Hymes, 1974; Kachru, 1983; Yee H, 2000). Some
of the definitions are:
1. Code will be taken as a verbal component that can be as small as a
morpheme or as comprehensive and complex as the entire system of language
(Ayeomoni, 2006).
2. Code-mixing refers to the transfer of linguistic units from one language
into another and the units may be morphemes, words, phrases, clauses or sentences
(Kachru, 1983).
3. Code-mixing is an admixture of linguistic elements of two or more
languages system in the same utterances at various levels (Yee Ho, 2000).
4. Code-mixing is the use of two or more linguistic varieties in the same
conversation or interaction. (Scotton and Ury, 1977)
5. Code-mixing is the alternate use of two languages in a single discourse.
While according to Nababan(1984) code mixing happens when peoplemix
two languages (or more) in such speech act or discourse withoutany force to do
mixing codes. It is as the process whereby speakers indulge incode switching
between languages of such rapidity and density, even withinsentences and phrases
that are not possible to say at any given time whichlanguage they are speaking.
There are some factors, that cause people do code mixing according to Kim
(2006). Some of them are:
1. Bilingualism
It cannot be avoided that the ability to use to speak more thanone language is
a basic factor of code mixing.Most of the worlds populationis bilingual or
2. Speaker and partner speaking .
Communication is the process of expressingideas between two participants
of conversation. Speaker needs partner speakingto communicate and code mixing
could appear if both use and understand it well.

3. Social community
An individual lives and cooperates in one communityeither in monolingual
or bilingual community.Now most communities are bilingual that use two
languages in their interactions.In this case,an individual will be influenced by
social community directly.
4. Situation
Usually code mixing occurs in relax or informal situation. Thissituation is
closer with daily conversation and for writers is also describe astheir habitual
5. Vocabulary
There is not appropriate word or -hen there is a lack of vocabulary in one
language. The inability to find an appropriate word or expression in one language
makes people change the word or phrase from oneto another language and it can be
combined together.
6. Prestige
Globalization era has lad people must able to speak more than one language,
especially English.For many young people code mixing becomesawn style which
is hoped to be modern and educational one. They mix language because of

Types of code mixing

Code mixing has some form; 1) word insertion (in fixation), 2) phrase
insertion, 3) clause insertion, 4) expression/ idiom insertion, and 5) baster insertion
(combining of original and foreign language).
Muysken (2000:1) explained more that code mixing is typically divided into
three main types insertion (word or phrase), alternation (clause) and congruent
lexicalization (dialect)- and the most common occurrence of code mixing variants
in society is insertional code mixing. Muysken in Daucher (2005:609) suggested
that there are three main patterns of intra-sentential code mixing which may be
found in bilingual speech community insertion, alternation, and congruent
lexicalization. In another hand, the types of code mixing are:
1. Insertion
The concept of insertion is defined as insertion of material such as lexical
items or entire constituents from one language into a structure from the other
language. According to Muysken (2000), approaches that depart from the
notion of insertion view the constraints in terms of the structural properties of
some base or matrix structure. Here the process of code-mixing is conceived as
something akin to borrowing: the insertion of an alien lexical of phrasal.

2. Alternation
Approaches departing from alternation (associated with the Poplack
(1980)) view the constraints on mixing in terms of the compatibility or
equivalence of the languages involved at the switch point (Muysken, 2000).
Conjunctions and appositions are incorporated through adjunction rather than
insertion (2000). Verbs are often incorporated through adjunction to a helping
verb. Language alternation is a normal, common, and important aspect of
bilingualism (Grosjean, 1982; Pennington, 1995).
3. Congruent Lexicalization
The notion of congruent lexicalization underlies the study of style
shifting and dialect/standard variation, as in the work of Labov (1972) and
Trudgill (1986), rather than bilingual language use proper (Muysken, 2000).
Congruent lexicalization is akin to language variation and style shifting:
switching is grammatically unconstrained and can be characterized in terms of
alternative lexical insertions. Linguistic convergence feeds into congruent
lexicalization and the two processes may reinforce each other. Some cases of
word-internal mixing can be viewed as congruent lexicalization (2000: 221).
Reason to mix the language
The people surely also have reasons why he or she switches their native
language into English.Saville-Troike(1986) states that reasons for bilinguals or
multilingual to mix their languages. They are:
1. To soften or strengthen request or command
For Indonesian people, mixing and switchingbahasa IndonesiaInto
English can also soften a request because English is not their native tongue soit
does not sound as direct asbahasa Indonesia. Howevercode mixing can also
strengthen a command since the speaker can feelmore powerful than the listener
because he/she can use a language that note everybody can.
2. Because of real lexical need
The most common reason for bilinguals to mix their languagesis due to
the lack of equivalent lexicon in the languages.When an English-Indonesian
bilingual has a word that is lacking in English, he will find iteasier to say it
inbahasa Indonesia. Andvice versa,when he/she has a wordthat is lacking
inbahasa Indonesia, he/she will use the English term.If it putted Indonesian, the
meaning will be hazy/vague, and sometime it wouldnot practice0 For example,
in Indonesia, the technical topics are firmlyassociated English and the topic
itself can trigger a switch or mix to with English.
3. To exclude other people when a comment is intended -or only a
limited audience
Sometimes people want to communicate only to certain people or
community they belong to. To avoid the other community or peopleinterfering
their communication# they may try to exclude those people byusing the
language that not everybody knows.

Nativization of English

To date there have been many studied done on the processes of nativization
of English in various parts of the world, for example, Bobda (1994); Cheshire
(1991); Kachru (1982, 1986); and Shim (1994). The researcher have found several
common characteristics of the phenomenon. Some of them are describe below:
1. Truncation : The English words in the study were truncated to shorter forms.
Example Computer com
Studio stu
Airconditioner air

2. Hybridization: The hybridized words took English words (noun / adjective)

and joined them with a Thai noun or a prefix, for instance, khan- ( ),
nak- (), khwam- (). Some examples are as follows:
Khan-balance = balance
Nak-golf = golf player
Khwam-sincere = sincerity

3. Conversation: conversation refers to a word changing from one class to

another (one part of speech to another) (Bobda, 1994). Miscellaneous cases
of conversation are illustrated below:
Noun Verb
To success: /tharasakses/ ( success) = If we success
To action: /raokchan di/ ( action ) = We action well.

Verb Noun
Nominate: /thpnnminet/ ( nominate) = She is nominate.

Noun Adjective
Happiness: /chanrusukhpines/ = I feel happiness.

4. Semantic shift: Some English words mixed to Thai conversation with a

semantic. Some examples are as follow:
Queue as in / mikiu/ () = having an appointment, not available

Mouth /ma/ ( )= talk, gossip

5. Reduplication: Reduplication refers to the repetition of a word consecutively

(Bobda, 1994). The category of words which generally undergoes this kind
of process is an adjective and the duplication suggests emphasis. Some
examples are:
/anniphiawphiaw/ ( ) = This is pure pure.
/chanhaikhunfrifri / (
) = I give you this free free.

6. Word order: Another area of nativization of English is the change in word

order. In Thai, the modifier comes after the noun it modifies whereas
English, the modifier comes before. The results showed that when some
English compounds were mixed to Thai, the modifier came right after the
nouns they modified. Some examples are as follow:
Tour concert = concert tour
Team football = football team
Tapevideo = videotape

TV Program
A television program (British English: programme) is a segment of content
intended for broadcast on over-the-air, cable television, or Internet television, other
than a commercial, trailer, or any other segment of content not serving as attraction
for viewership. It may be a single production, or more commonly, a series of
related productions (also called a television series or a television show).

Entertainment program
Programs primarily about the world of entertainment and its people. These
programs include celebrity profiles that may use promotional footage, talk or
interview shows, award shows, galas and tributes. They also include entertainment-
oriented magazine shows; fund-raising shows which include entertainers (i.e.
telethons); human interest programs consisting of live or live-to-tape footage
without significant portions devoted to in-depth analysis or interpretation; and
coverage of community events such as carnivals, festivals, parades and fashion
Educational Program
Educational programmes which are similar in format to general broadcast
documentaries may encourage students to take a passive attitude to the broadcasts.
Programmes may be seen by students as a source of information when it may be
intended to be a resource for the development of course skills

Sports Program
Programs of live or live-to-tape sports events and competitions including
coverage of professional and amateur tournaments. The category also includes
programs reviewing and analysing professional or amateur competitive sports
events/teams (i.e. pre- and post-game shows, magazine shows, scripted sports, call-
in and talk shows, etc.).

Previous studies
This research is not the first one which use code mixing case as topic.
Previously, there are some researches that observed about code mixing. In this part,
the researcher has summarized some previous research regarding code mixing that
will be compared to this research.
The first research is Study of English Code-mixing and Code-switchingin
Thai Pop Songs by TeeratornLikhitphongsathorn and PattamaSappapan. This
study is an attempt to fill in this gap by exploring and describing the
recentphenomenon of English code-mixing and code-switching in Thai pop songs.
It was discoveredthat the use of English codes in Thai pop songs is different from
other genres of communicationsince they are creatively utilized to produce
rhetorical and aesthetic effects. The paperinvestigated what kinds of English units
as well as nativized English characteristics wereemployed as a device for the
songwriting. English words were found to be common Englishcode-mixing
elements, while simple sentences were the most frequent items appearing at
thelevel of code-switching. As for nativization, reduplication was frequently used
in Thai popsongs.
The second is Code mixing in Club Camilan Novel by DewiPusfitasari
(2010), on this research, DewiPusfitasari uses a descriptive analysis method to
analyse the types and function of code mixing. The unit analysis in her research is
the Club Camilan novel by Donna Talitha, BellaWidjaja and Brigitta NS in 2009.
The result of research shows that there are many cases of code mixing which are
found in literary wors, especially novels by Indonesian author. Besides that, code
switching and code mixing used by Indonesian in metropolitan and educated
society because of their prestige motive.

The third is The Mixing of Thai and English: Communicative

Strategiesin Internet Chat Rooms by JirapornYiamkhamnuan. The research
article systematically described the characteristics of mixing Thai, by Thai
speakers,with English-based discourses in the Internet chat rooms. The possible
functions of mixing, the factorsinvolved, and the new textual identities built by
language mixing were also explored. The data werecollected from 60 textual
chat extracts in International and English chat rooms on Sanook and
Pantipwebsites. The findings revealed that shifting to Thai was done by means
of (1) Thai word insertion, (2)word translation, (3) word quotations, (4) word
repetition, (5) specialized features expressing, and (6) Netculture switching. It
occurred as main results of the Thai chatters non-proficiency in English, the
habitualuse of Thai cultural terms, and the causal, synchronous nature of the
non-visual interactions, while theirindividual linguistic styles as well as
emotional drives were to help build a shared understanding betweenThais and at
the same time express their cultural identities.
The forth is Codemixing in break out music program onNET.TV by
SitiNurhayati and EliaMasaGintings. This research aims to get information of
sociolinguistics about code mixing inBreak Out Music Program on NET.TV by
the presenters. The objectives of the study areto find types of code mixing, and
the most dominant type. The research on this thesiswas carried out on
descriptive qualitative design. The source of data was the wholescript of the
utterances by the two presenters. The data were the scenes that have
codemixing in its dialogue. The data were analyzed based on Muysken theory,
there are 104code mixing used by the two presenters which consists of three
types of code mixingwhich is alternation (62) with total percentage 59,7 %,
insertation (34) percentage 32,7%, and congruent lexicalization (8) 7,7 %. The
most dominant type of code mixing usedby two presenters of Break Out Music
Program on NET.TV is alternation withpercentage 59,7 %.
The fifth is Code mixing and code switching Found in the Novel
Supernova: Ksatria, PuteridanBintangJutuh by Dewi Lestari by Meilisa
(2013). This research is about investigating the types of code switching and
code mixing which occur in the dialogue spoken by the main characters and
reasons why the characters switch or mix their dialogues. This research use
descriptive qualitative method by applying Hoffmanns theory. In conclusion,
she found four types and nine reasons about the set of code switching and code
mixing in the novel.
From those previous researches, there are some comparisons that will
differentiate this research with another. From the first until the fifth study
above, English is the common languages used as the problem case, but on this
research the researcher choses the Thai-English as the problem case.


This study was conducted among three Thai TV programs whichuse
English-Thai Code-mixing. The aim of this study was 1.)To investigate Code-
mixing used on Thai TV programs 2.) To analyze and classify the types of Code-
mixing.This research used descriptive quantitative method. Quantitative research is
the numerical representation andobservations for the purpose ofexplaining the
phenomena that those observations reflect.

Research Question
- What types of code-mixing which are used in Thai TV programs?
- What are the influential factors of code-mixing which are used in Thai TV
The instrument of this research is noting by watching 3 Thai TV programs,
marking the utterances containing Code-mixing, writing the utterances in a note.
Data Collection
The data for this study were collected the sample randomly during 2015-
2016, for12 hoursof threeThai TV program on Youtube.The Thai TV programs
consist of entertainment program (Momay with You), sports program (Sport
night), and educational program (Loukgolf's English Room). Each genre consisted
of four hours of TV program. Since the length of each program episode varied, the
number of the program episodes for each genre was not equal. The total of the
sample was 31 program episodes which were distributed as follows: 1) 12
entertainment program episodes, 2) 10 educational program episodes, and 3) 9
sports program episodes.This study focused only language used in the speech of
people in entertainment programs. Collecting the data in Code-mixing only
wordsand phrases which appear in Thai sentences.
Before the coding was conducted, a coding scheme had been developed
based on several related studies (e.g. Chen, 1996; Gibson, 1987; Grosjean, 1980;
Lee, 2000; Yau, 1993). The coding scheme consisted of three available needed for
the data coding.

Data Analysis
The data analysis procedures of English-Thai Code -mixing of on Thai TV
programswere presented as follows;
1. Level of Code-mixing
1.1 Words
1.2 Phrases
2. Grammatical category
2.1 Noun
2.2 Verb
2.3 Adjective
2.4 Adverb
3. Nativization features of Code-mixing
3.1 Semantic shift
3.2 Truncation
3.3Lexical Creativity
3.4 Reduplication
3.5 Hybridization

Research Result

level of Code-mixing
TV program
Words Phrases
Loukgolfs English Room
Sport Night

TV program
Noun Verb Adjective Adverb
Loukgolfs English Room
Sport Night

Nativization features of Code-mixing

TV program Semantic Lexical
Truncation Reduplication hybridization
shift Creativity
English Room
Sport Night

The example of Code-mixing found on Loukgolfs English Room;


please welcome
carry on


Anything is allowed

the biggest issue

The example of Code-mixing found on Sport Night;



Net idol




The example of Code-mixing found on Momaypaplern;


update skincare routine






bump bump

under eye




Conclusion and discussion

Having collected and analyzing the data, some conclusions were given below:

The level of code mixing used in Thai TV programsnamely :word level and phrase
level. It consists of utterances (%)word level of code mixing,62

utterances (59,61%) phrase level of code mixing. The result showed that the most
dominant level of code-mixing used by Thai TV Programs is ..level

. level was the most dominant in Thai TV programs because the presenters
speak English too much in their conversation thanconstituent from one languages
take place of a comparable item in the language or just mixeslexical material from
either usage occurs.