Multilingualism in cyberspace: a practical reality?
Keywords:Communication, Cyberspace, Languages, Linguicide, Multilingualism, Translation
The loss of a language is often phrased in catastrophic terms despite the evolution of languages being a quite natural process. Here we discuss language loss and language use in the digital domain. We note that while English still dominates cyberspace, other languages are growing rapidly, so it seems likely that the future will not be monolingual but multilingual. We show that efforts to mandate the use of minority languages are unlikely to be successful and can backfire. The question therefore arises of how best to handle minority languages in the digital domain. This article argues that the best, and maybe the only, solution is high-quality machine translation.
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