Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Online Language Preferences

Another fascinating study from Eurobarometer, the survey arm of the European Commission. This one explores the languages Europeans use and prefer to use when online. The survey queried people aged 15 or older in the 27 countries of the European Union who use the Internet--a group that encompasses more than 90 percent of the populations of the Netherlands and Sweden, but fewer than half of Greeks, Romanians, and Bulgarians.

The 55 percent majority of EU Internet users had used a language other than their own while online during the past four weeks, and 35 percent had used another language when writing emails or sending messages online. English is the most frequently used "other" language. Forty-eight percent said they had used English while reading or watching online content, and 29 percent had used English for writing online.

When given a choice, nine out of ten Internet users say they would prefer to visit a website in their own language, but the 53 percent majority would accept an English version of a website if the site was not available in their language.

Source: Eurobarometer, User Language Preferences Online

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