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  1. #1
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    English on the Internet

    There are some very old statistics about relative language use on the Internet going round. Of course, less than twenty years ago, when Tim Berners-Lee - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia started all in CERN, there was 100% English usage. Since that moment, the percentage has been decreasing. In 2005, when David Graddol first did a study for the British Council he produced an interesting comparison: whereas in 2000 just over half of Internet users had English as a first language; by 2005 English mother-tongue users had dwindled to less than a third, while Chinese mother-tongue users had more than doubled. I don't have Graddol's more recent figures to hand (they're on the BC web-site), but I don't imagine the pattern of English shrinking and Chinese increasing at a much faster rate will have changed over the last four years

    'Aha, but...' people will say 'you're looking at the mother tongues of users, not the language used on the Web'; that's true. But in the surveyed period, Japanese, Spanish, French, Italian, Korean, and Dutch all grew slightly. 'Other languages' nearly doubled; and it would be reasonable to surmise that the reason for that doubling was the availability of non-Roman scripts. More and more, users have an interactive relationship with the net, and they want to use their own script to do it.

    b
    PS - this is an addition I wanted to make to another thread, which has mysteriously disappeared without trace!

  2. #2
    poorboy_9's Avatar
    poorboy_9 is offline Member
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    Re: English on the Internet

    In totally agree with your assessment that for the Japanese, Korean, (English influenced) and Spanish, French, Italian, and Dutch (Western Euro countries) native language usage all grew at a lesser rate than the 'other languages'. The fact that the others nearly doubled has a lot to do with the GUI availability of non-Roman scripts (for me, read here: Simplified Mandarin). More and more, users have a one-on-one/ small clique interaction when using the internet; be it work or pleasure, and they "want to/ demand" the use of their own script to do it.
    It also didn't hurt that "English" speaking "Al Gore" invented the internet/ TCPIP protocol.
    (Can't help getting that last one in; there are a few guys at Dartmouth College (U.S.A.)that still get a kick/ ulcer when they hear it!!)
    Last edited by poorboy_9; 03-Oct-2009 at 02:11. Reason: sorry...either "I totally agree..." or "In total agreement..."

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: English on the Internet

    I read that Japanese is growing out of proportion to the number of speakers because there are so many Japanese bloggers and they tend to update a lot.

  4. #4
    poorboy_9's Avatar
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    Re: English on the Internet

    I don't know what the reason may be, but sometimes the Japanese mind set seems hardwired when it comes to "lemming-like, status perks" - "if you 'ain't got one', it's already too late to get one".
    Along other lines, they were teaching Japanese as a second language in N.E. Aust. about 5-6 years ago, to compensate for the lack of decent japanese-speaking hotel/ resort workers;...wonder if that was a prudent choice? (al bet I still subscribe to "any knowledge is good knowledge.....as long as it's not used for blackmail!" (humor??)
    I must confess, I just bought a "Chinese" (Manderin) netbook as an aid in character recognition [-I've got "exit" down pat], but do feel relief when I move back to my native tongue operating system.
    Sorry for the ramblin'...
    B.
    Last edited by poorboy_9; 09-Oct-2009 at 07:22. Reason: sp.....MardArin...sorry

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