Infographics: The internet lacks language diversity

December 26, 2018 00:05 AM Republica


Ten languages account for nearly 90 per cent of the top 10 million websites -- a tiny fraction of the world’s 7,097 languages. For native English speakers – around 5% of the global population – there isn’t much difference between real life and online life, since more than half of the web is in their language. But those who cannot speak or understand English, much of the internet is out of reach. Clearly, the absence of so many languages creates a so-called digital divide, that may restrict access to data and information. So while in one sense, the internet opens the door for anyone to create content in any language, many languages are just not present in the online space. Former South African President Nelson Mandela once said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” The internet needs to a cue from this.

 


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