Monday, May 16, 2011

Half of the EU Internet surfers use foreing languages on-line

According to a pan-EU Eurobarometer survey 55% of Internet surfers use at least occasionally another language than their own when they are on-line. However, 90% of the surfers prefer to access websites in their own language and 44% of them feel they are missing interesting information because web pages are not in a language that they understand.

The survey confirms that English is the most commonly used language when it comes to reading and watching content on the Internet in a different language than one's own: almost half of Internet users in the EU (48%) would use English at least "occasionally" while Spanish, German and French would be used by 4% to 6% of users.

To face this situation the European Commission manages 30 different research projects working at the interface of language and digital content and one of the objectives of the Digital Agenda for Europe is to ensure more accessibility to web content for everyone.

EMF follows closely the development on Languages and opportunities in EU and participate in META (the Multilingual Europe Technology Alliance) and the CELAN project (Promotion of Language Strategies for Competitiveness and Employability) .

Download the Survey
Visit the CELAN project site
Visit the META website

1 comment:

  1. I guess I am one of the 55% occasionally using another language to surf the internet. sometimes it is essential to obtain the result needed (for example some information about a local supplier situated in a foreign country). I am looking forward to the day when on-line translations are as good as the average school leaver's ability in their local language. But even then I feel one would need to know the original language to fully appreciate it.
    Interesting topic and one definitely worth following. Thanks