3.1.1 Study site
The study was conducted at Radboud University. The Internet played a major role in the study given that questionnaires used in the study were administered electronically. Consent was sought from the school administration, Radboud University before the study commenced.
Systematic sampling of international students who speak European and Asian languages was done. A sample size of 60 was used for the study with four participants per each of the languages under study. There was a total of 15 languages that were involved in the study. Asian languages that were involved in the study were Japanese, Chinese, Korea, Bahasa Indonesia, Hindi, and Vietnamese. European languages that were involved in the study were Dutch, German, Russia, Italian, French, Spain, Danish, and Finish.
The study was conducted using questionnaires and interviews.
3.2.1 Use of questionnaires
Questionnaires were administered electronically to the study participants. The study participants were asked to provide information about their name, their gender, their age, their native language and their nationality. The questionnaires were administered to all international students who were willing to take part in the study.
The study participants were asked to mention three strongly forbidden words in their languages plus the literal meanings of the words in English.
The study participants were asked to classify the swearing words used in their language in reference to the origin of the swearing word. The reference could be an animal, religion, scatological reference, sexual organ, family members or diseases.
The study participants were asked to mention the term that is mostly used in swearing with regard to their language.
Study participants were asked to state if there are taboo words used in their language that have the same meaning as non-taboo words. The study participants will be asked to state unique words that are used in their native languages with regard to swearing.
The study participants were asked to divulge swearing words that are used in their languages under different circumstances. The circumstances included dropping ones phone in water, ones car being hit, accidentally hitting ones finger with a hammer, when very angry and when a spider surprisingly jumps on ones body.
3.2.2 Use of interviews
Interviews were used for the study. A total of 60 study participants were interviewed. Four of the participants spoke a common Asian and European language. Interviews gave the study participants an opportunity to elaborate on their responses and also to provide additional information that was not catered for by the research questions. The study participants were asked to divulge information about swearing words in their native languages that they would use in different circumstances. The interviewees were asked to divulge swearing words that they would use to express shock, anger, pain, surprise, and frustration. The study participants were asked the role that sociocultural factors have on swearing in their native languages. The participants were asked how people swear in their native languages.
3.3 Study participants
The study participants were international students of Radboud University. It was important to obtain information from the international students because it was an easy avenue of collecting data that would have otherwise been difficult if the data were to be collected by visiting countries in which the languages are widely spoken. Radboud University is home to a large population of international students; therefore, there was a guarantee that relevant information would be collected from the study participants. Individuals who took part in the study had an average of 22 years of age. The study participants were promised a free meal as an incentive for them to take part in the study.
Systematic sampling of international students at Radboud University was done to arrive at individuals who would take part in the study. A schedule for conducting the study was then formulated. The study was done in a single week. Study participants were first asked to provide details of their email addresses. It was decided that 60 study participants, 4 for each of the 15 languages would be interviewed about the topic of study. It was also decided, based on the sample size that 60 international students would be given online questionnaires. The international students were given 5 days to fill the questionnaires (from Monday to Friday). Interviews were conducted on Saturday and Sunday (of the week designated for the study). Responses from the online questionnaires and the interviews were then compiled. I recruited two individuals to assist me with conducting the interviews (a total of 3 individuals were involved in conducting the interviews).
Microsoft Excel 2010 was used to collect responses from the online questionnaires. Responses to the interviews were recorded by audio recording and note-writing. Audio recording was important because it ensured that all details that would pass unnoticed by the interviewer were recorded.
3.6 Coding and data analysis
The data obtained from the questionnaires and interviews were coded in such a manner so that the responses could be understood in English. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 7. Responses from both the questionnaires and interviews were assessed and compared. Sources and references of swearing words that are used in the Asian and European languages were established by data analysis. Types of swearing that are common in the Asian and European languages were established. Similarities in swearing words used in European and Asian languages were determined. Differences in swearing words used in European and Asian languages were determined. Effect of socio-cultural factors on swearing was established. How people swear in European and Asian languages was also determined.
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