The reconceptualisation of lingua-cultures on the Internet: Translation-driven communities as assemblages

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Seryun Lee (Queensland University)


​​Online platforms allow the instantaneous circulation of media content on a global scale, and geographically fragmented audiences of media content circulated through such platforms engage with the same content at their convenience. Such media distribution in today’s digital culture problematises the traditional conceptualisation of lingua-cultures, which is predetermined based on the concept of nation-states. The aim of this study is to contribute to theorising the concept of lingua-cultures on the internet in relation to the role of translation that boosts the mobility of cultural products across national borders. To this end, I draw on the Deleuzian concept of ‘assemblages’ and look into what translation-driven communities can reveal about different language constituencies using an illustrative example of a YouTube vlog with bilingual subtitles. Ultimately, I argue that lingua-cultures in digital media culture can be redefined as constellations of heterogeneous people who display their perceptions, attitudes, and expectations of self and others by using a common language, whilst engaging with media content for various purposes and in different ways.


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