The New Babel: Langauge Barriers on the World Wide Web

Andrew Large 1
Author Information & Copyright
1McGilI University

Copyright ⓒ 2016, Sejong University Language Research Institue. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Published Online: Jan 01, 2017


The relative role of various languages as carriers of web-based in forrnation is assessed and the trends examined. Although English is the dominant language,its relative posìtion vis-a-vis other languages is declining as the Web attracts more inforrnation from other language communities. The proportion of web users from the English-speaking world is also higher than from any other language group,but their relative sσength is declining and already they account for less than half of all web users. In this situation of growing language diversity,the language barrier is becoming stronger. Various solutions to this barrier are reviewed : multilingual web sites,multilingual approaches by web portals, Although all these approaches can offer partial remedies ,none currently provide a complete answer. Finally,the role that conslructed languages can play is assessed.

Keywords: multilingual; machine translation; language barrier; world wide web