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"The digital language divide"

Elf
Posts125Likes95Joined3/9/2018LocationSkopje / MK
Native
Macedonian
Other Arabic - Gulf, English, French, Spanish, Serbian

This study is an interesting perspective on the presence and influence of the internet languages, and the exclusion of most of the languages in the world on the internet.


http://labs.theguardian.com/digital-language-divide/. 


The Google search engine offers information in only 130 languages, while there are around 6000 languages in the world. The lack of standardized orthography in many languages makes it hard to include them on the internet. In addition, different cultures use different online platforms for different purposes of communication. It's a way to tap into the cultural values of the society. For example while Koreans use Twitter to reply to each other, Germans apparently use more URLs and hashtags. This deepens the digital divide to a degree, but to me it is a representation of a cultural value and how certain nations see the internet and its use. 


Mark Graham from the Oxford Internet Institute says, "Rich countries largely get to define themselves and poor countries largely get defined by others.", This refers to the inequality of information on the internet and the lack of input under-developed or developing countries have on it. 


Although many people use the internet and we find as a great source of study and information, I myself don't find this state so threatening as I believe the real knowledge comes out of real, direct experience. Not that you can go back in history and verify what Henry the 8th was doing while ruling, but the real, live experience in the city of his rulership for example, is way more enriching than an article on the web. What I am trying to say is that, we may as well not take the internet so seriously. Nor should minorities offend themselves for not having their language present on the internet. I will never undermine the benefit from learning about a certain culture in live visits, but I don't mind being introduced to the language for the first time when being there on spot. However, it may be hard for indigenous and native people and speakers to have their information crossed, for themselves and foreigners, when their language is not present to the wider audience/public, on the internet. 


Many points are mentioned in this article that I can not touch upon, so I suggest that you look into it, and would greatly appreciate if you tell me your opinion and viewpoint, on the thing I myself gave an opinion. 


Thank you! 


P.s. This will probably be among my last posts, as I am being called to attend somewhere and commit a bit more to something else, so I'll be needing more of my time. It was a true joy meeting you and exchanging thoughts and attitudes with you! I still want to hear and engage in this last idea/topic I opened. All the best to all of you! I really enjoyed talking to you all 


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#1
Elf
Posts142Likes113Joined4/10/2018Location
Native
Chinese - Mandarin, English, Chinese - Cantonese
Other French, Indonesian, Russian, Thai, Vietnamese

Thanks for sharing yet another thought-provoking article. The internet giveth, and the internet taketh away. On the one hand, globalisation, the internet, and the economic realities really favor the emergence of a few global languages, and financially rewards the participation of these global languages. 


But also thanks to the internet, there are pockets for places like the Endangered Languages project to exist, and hopefully preserve languages in perpetuity, even if it is just on the internet. 


Quite frankly, I don't know we can do. At the end of the day, the onus of perpetuating and preserving one's culture really lies squarely in a community's hands, and hopefully, each community will see the value in continuing to teach their own culture and language to their young. 


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1
#2
Ranger
Posts458Likes274Joined8/7/2018LocationAlmeria / ES
Native
English
Other Arabic - Egyptian, French, German, Spanish

I never really thought about a digital divide ? I wholeheartedly agree that the internet is a way to preserve languages, but I guess if the orthography isn't there it presents a problem , you could use photographs of handwriting however to demonstrate it. It's surprising in the age we live in that Google aren't a bit more multicultural. 

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#3
Elf
Posts125Likes95Joined3/9/2018LocationSkopje / MK
Native
Macedonian
Other Arabic - Gulf, English, French, Spanish, Serbian

Jade.Xuereb wrote:

It's surprising in the age we live in that Google aren't a bit more multicultural.


Yeah, I agree, but they are working on it, apparently 


Meifeng, thank you for your thoughtful response! With lovely vocabulary too :):) 


... 


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#4
Ranger
Posts298Likes159Joined6/10/2018LocationLagos / NG
Native
English
Other French

I don't fault Google for not being able to represent all the languages on earth. I think the responsibility still falls to countries to make sure that at least one of their languages is represented online. Africa for example has multiple languages you can't even begin to imagine. Nigeria alone has over 500 languages and I believe it's up to us to ensure that we have some form of online presence and at least some of our languages should be represented online. It's going to take collective responsibility to ensure that more languages are covered online.

Lastly, some just don't care about the internet. Their language and information can still be passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth.


I'm going to miss your presence here Mai...

Kevwe A.

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2
#5
Elf
Posts137Likes82Joined3/9/2018LocationLagos / NG
Native
English
Learning French

Mai wrote:

This study is an interesting perspective on the presence and influence of the internet languages, and the exclusion of most of the languages in the world on the internet.

http://labs.theguardian.com/digital-language-divide/.

The Google search engine offers information in only 130 languages, while there are around 6000 languages in the world. The lack of standardized orthography in many languages makes it hard to include them on the internet. In addition, different cultures use different online platforms for different purposes of communication. It's a way to tap into the cultural values of the society. For example while Koreans use Twitter to reply to each other, Germans apparently use more URLs and hashtags. This deepens the digital divide to a degree, but to me it is a representation of a cultural value and how certain nations see the internet and its use.

Mark Graham from the Oxford Internet Institute says, "Rich countries largely get to define themselves and poor countries largely get defined by others.", This refers to the inequality of information on the internet and the lack of input under-developed or developing countries have on it.

Although many people use the internet and we find as a great source of study and information, I myself don't find this state so threatening as I believe the real knowledge comes out of real, direct experience. Not that you can go back in history and verify what Henry the 8th was doing while ruling, but the real, live experience in the city of his rulership for example, is way more enriching than an article on the web. What I am trying to say is that, we may as well not take the internet so seriously. Nor should minorities offend themselves for not having their language present on the internet. I will never undermine the benefit from learning about a certain culture in live visits, but I don't mind being introduced to the language for the first time when being there on spot. However, it may be hard for indigenous and native people and speakers to have their information crossed, for themselves and foreigners, when their language is not present to the wider audience/public, on the internet.

Many points are mentioned in this article that I can not touch upon, so I suggest that you look into it, and would greatly appreciate if you tell me your opinion and viewpoint, on the thing I myself gave an opinion.

Thank you!

P.s. This will probably be among my last posts, as I am being called to attend somewhere and commit a bit more to something else, so I'll be needing more of my time. It was a true joy meeting you and exchanging thoughts and attitudes with you! I still want to hear and engage in this last idea/topic I opened. All the best to all of you! I really enjoyed talking to you all

Awww, I’d definitely miss your contributions here.

Posted 
1
#6
Elf
Posts125Likes95Joined3/9/2018LocationSkopje / MK
Native
Macedonian
Other Arabic - Gulf, English, French, Spanish, Serbian

Oghenekevwe wrote:

I believe it's up to us to ensure that we have some form of online presence and at least some of our languages should be represented online. It's going to take collective responsibility to ensure that more languages are covered online.


I would like to know how this goes.. hm...


Thanks for kind words :blush:

.. 


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0
#7