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Internet Language Problem

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Internet Language Problem

We can take for granted the English language being all over the Internet. But did you know only 5% of the world speak English as a first language and only 21% speak/understand it at all?

Yet 55% of the Internet is in English. This is a huge problem for those trying to make Internet access global. Take a nation like India, one of the fast rising players on the international stage. India alone has 22 official languages and over 300 unofficial ones. China, now the world’s top economic powerhouse, has Cantonese and Mandarin as official languages, but official languages include Uyghur, Tibetan, Mongolian, and Zhuang. Then there are scores of unofficial languages. In fact, most of the Internet is dominated by only ten languages: English, Spanish, German, French, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Arabic, Korean and Portuguese.

But I understand the other side. You see, 96% of Internet users speak these at least one of these major ten languages. And in places which others languages are used, they barely have Internet access anyway. But that’s changing, and many tech leaders are seeing to it. So if they’re going to make the Internet available to all, they should work on some kind of translation. There is language software already in place. But there just needs to be accessible and affordable to all languages and people. That’s a start. What else can be done to combat the Internet language problem?

 

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