The Internet is essentially non-geographic, but it is
possible to look at the geography of its users as well as of
information placed or exchanged on the Web. For most of
the time the U.S. users and English language content
(which is also U.S. centered) dominated the Internet.
What is the present situation? The art of estimating
how many are online throughout the world is an inexact
one at best. Surveys abound, using all sorts of
measurement parameters. The attitudes towards the role of
languages on the Internet are as diverse as the attitudes and
opinions that people hold about languages in general.
The user groups of different languages are ensuring
their presence and usage by network communities. There
are people who, like Yukio Tsuda, consider that the
dominance of English signifies continuity of
neo-colonialism through colonialization of consciousness
and ensures social and communication inequality as well
as language discrimination.
The dominance of English language on the Web for
a long time was ensured not only by the place of its origin
and international character but by technology and
standards, which did not support different characters and
other multilingual features. At present these technical
problems are either solved or under investigation.
Barriers to localization and multilingualism are
falling away. The possibilities and diversity of language
resources as well as means of teaching, learning,
promoting, and practicing language are constantly
growing. The major move was creation of means
supporting different character sets. E. Maceviciute. Multilingual virtual world: languages on
the Internet. Revista Razón y Palabra, nº 42, 2004 (adapted).
Concerning the ideas of the previous text and the vocabulary
used in it, judge the following items.
According to the text, quantifying the number of Internet
users is somewhat imprecise.