Multilingualism and Cultural Diversity on the InternetLast updated:
We're living at an interesting age.
We're about to witness a major paradigm-shift on the Internet globally.
Not sure what I'm talking about?
Simple. The rise of the developing nations (particularly China, India, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia and other major developing countries) will cause the Internet, for the first time since its inception, to cease to be virtually English-only.
Don't buy it?
What do you think is the largest (as far as the userbase size is concerned) social network Website? Facebook? Not really. It's QQ, a chinese-based social interaction website. The number of QQ users surpass Facebook's by almost 100 million users.
Since a few months ago it's been possible to create non-ascii TLDs ( top level domains) on the internet. For languages that don't use our standard Roman alphabet, it means things like:
(notice the Russian 'p' at the start) or
(if you see boxes it might be due to your browser not being configured to red UTF8 characters)
That is a major paradigm shift if you ask me. Who can say what the future holds for us?