LINGUIST List 14.3550

Sun Dec 21 2003

Media: Media: AP: Native languages on the Internet

Editor for this issue: Sarah Murray <>


  1. Karen Chung, Media: AP: Native languages on the Internet

Message 1: Media: AP: Native languages on the Internet

Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2003 07:15:07 +0800
From: Karen Chung <>
Subject: Media: AP: Native languages on the Internet

There's an article from the AP dated Dec 19, 2003, posted on the
Excite network, entitled:

 Bias Keeps Internet From Global Expansion
 by Anick Jesdanun

 Some excerpts:

 Rahul Dewan typed "India" into the search box of an online stock
photo service, hoping to find digital images of his native country. He
found only three - all of flags.

 Dewan then typed "Switzerland," a country smaller than his, and
found 33, while "USA" returned 72. ...

 Even with access, the Internet remains meaningless to most of the
world's population, its Web sites heavy in English and reflecting a
Western tilt. ...

 There must be compelling information, in native languages and
mindful of local traditions and distinctions - such as audio and
illustrations for the illiterate. ...

 The solution involves more than translating English sites.

 To address illiteracy, South Africa is developing speech
recognition, text-to-speech and other voice technologies, starting in
Zulu. An open source model will let others adapt the tools for
additional languages at little cost.

 Hurry - AP links expire *very* fast. Once expired, however, you
*may* be able to find a reposted version of the story with a Google
search. Thanks to John Gehl of NewsScan Daily
( for this link.

 Karen Steffen Chung
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