Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Loubna Bassam

Loubna Bassam is Senior Lecturer at the Lebanese International University and the Islamic University of Lebanon, teaching translation and English language and literature. She is also a sworn translator and a freelance translator. In 2000 she obtained her BA in English Language and Literature from the Lebanese University. In 2005 she was awarded a Masters in Translation and Interpretation from Notre Dame University, Lebanon. In 2012 she obtained a Masters in Translation and Intercultural Studies from Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain. 

Gender differences in SMS code-switching by Lebanese undergraduates

Supervisor: Anthony Pym

Research Summary

Short Message Service (SMS) has reshaped communication for some social segments, constituting a new genre of telecommunication. Most of these messages are sent by teenagers, many of whom use code-switching. This study aims to observe code-switching between Arabic and English in the text messages of university students, both men and women, from different socioeconomic and linguistic backgrounds. It asks whether the degree and nature of code-switching varies in accordance with gender, addressee, and social class. 


Bassam, Loubna. 2014. "Gender and Linguistic background in SMS code-switching by Lebanese students" in Translation Research Projects 5. Tarragona: Intercultural Studies Group.

Forthcoming. "Self-translation on a periphery: Code-switching in SMS messages of young people in Lebanon", in Translation and intercultural communication - interdisciplinary perspectives. Berlin: Frank & Timme.

Forthcoming. "Gender differences in code-switching in text messages of Lebanese undergraduate students", in Representing and Mediating otherness. Language, Translation, Media and Local-global Reception. Berlin: Frank & Timme.

Forthcoming. "Generational differences in SMS messages code-switching by Lebanese undergraduates". 

Conference Presentations


"Code- switching in Lebanese students SMS messages: a link between the local and the global" in Third International Conference on Language, Linguistics, Literature and Translation: Connecting the Dots in a Glocalized World, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman. 3-5 November.


"Gender and SMS Code- switching in Contemporary Lebanon" in For and Against Models of Official Multiculturalism and Multilingualism, McGill University, Montreal, Canada. 5-7 May.


"Code- switching as a Translative Means of Translation" in The 11th IPCITI Postgraduate Conference in Translation and Interpreting, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom. 28- 30 October.


"Code- switching in Lebanese Society: Multi-Cultural and Multi-Language Interactions" in Translation and Interpreting: New Voices on the Marketplace (TINVOM), Universite De Tunis El Manar, Tunis, Tunisia. 16- 18 April.


"Gender Differences in SMS Code- switching as a Pragmatic self- Translational Tool", in Sixth Annual International Translation Conference: Translating the Gulf: Beyond Fault Lines, Hamed bin Khalifa University, Doha, Qatar. 23-24 March.


"Code- switching as an index of Translative Society" in 10th Brno Conference of English, American and Canadian Studies, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic. 5-7 February.  


"Code- Switching: a Lebanese Socio- Cultural Image" in Transferring/ Translating Cultural Images: Parallels Between Stereotyping and Globalizing, Yeditepe University, Istanbul, Turkey. 16- 17 September.


"Code- switching in SMS Messages of Young People in Lebanon as a Bilingual Self- Translational Tool" in I International Conference on Translation and Interpreting: Discussing Translation: Art, Mediation or Professionalizm?, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain. 10- 12 September.


"Self- Translation on Periphery: Code- switching in SMS Messages of Young People in Lebanon" in 7th EST Congress, the Conference of the European Society for Translation Studies, Germersheim, Germany. 29 August- 1 September.


"Gender Differences in Code- switching in Text Messages of Lebanese Undergraduate Students" in New Research in Translation and Interpreting Studies, The Intercultural Studies Group of The Universitat Rovira I Virgili, Tarragona, Spain. 1- 2 July.


"Arabic- English Code- switching in SMS Messages: Motives and Reasons" in New Research in Translation and Interpreting Studies, The Intercultural Studies Group of The Universitat Rovira I Virgili, Tarragona, Spain. 12- 14 May.

Thesis defended July 17, 2017. 

Thesis here.

Evaluation committee: 
José Santaemilia (Universitat de València) 
Amado Alarcón Alarcón (URV) 
Ester Torres-Simón (Universidad Europea del Atlántico)