How are other countries, like Ireland, not popular on the internet?

@morrowind
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Ireland is a weird example, considering it’s size (also isn’t it part of the west?) But briefly:

  • Most of the internet and it’s platforms were invented or first adopted in the west
  • Most of the internet is english and started as practically 100% english

China has had some massive platforms for example, but they’ve always been china-exclusive.

Amicese
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  • Most of the internet is english and started as practically 100% english

Is there anyway to fix this issue?

poVoq
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Lots of tightly integrated ML translation. Loomio for example is interesting in that regard as it has a button on every post to automatically translate it to the browser language of the user. The problem is that currently this space is dominated by the google translate API and the AWS equivalent, but libretranslate is making slow progress as a viable alternative.

@Fisch
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Why is that an issue?

Because majority of the population in the world aren’t speaking English.

@Looki
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But it is still the language understood by the biggest chunk of people on the planet, compared to any other language. I guess we need to implement auto-translation into apps to reach a broader audience than english speakers

It’s understood by only a slightly bigger chunk of people on the planet than Mandarin, while over 6 billion people don’t speak it at all.

@Looki
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What is your point? If we want to use a single language for simplicity, English is the best option, when targeting a more diverse audience than just China. For everything else we need multi-lingual apps, which either segregate their userbase by language or use translation software (Which many international services already use, e.g. Facebook)

More than 70 countries have officially incorporated Chinese language teaching into their national education systems, and as China becomes ever more important globally that trend will increase. Especially, thanks to projects like BRI that will create economic ties with many countries around the globe. So, Chinese is definitely becoming a language that audience outside China speaks and especially the audience in global south.

My point is that English managed to become the dominant language on the internet because rich western countries have been the ones where most people with internet access were where most people know at least some English. This is not the case for the rest of the world population.

English does have the advantage of being the language predominantly used on the internet, but that could easily change as more countries become widely connected.

I agree that automatic translation could be a solution in the future, although I find these things are still imperfect.

@Looki
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So are you arguing that it would be better if Chinese was the lingua franca of the internet instead of English? Or are you proposing some other solution?

☆ Yσɠƚԋσʂ ☆
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I’m pointing out that English is already being displaced as the dominant language in the world, just like French was displaced earlier. The term lingua franca incidentally comes from French being the dominant language at one point.

I’m not passing any value judgments here regarding what would be better or worse. I’m simply observing the fact that most of the world population doesn’t speak English, and that it’s entirely possible that English could be displaced as the dominant language for international communication.

I don’t know what the solution will be. Perhaps we’ll all be learning Chinese, or translation tools become sufficiently robust that everyone can use their own language, or the internet will further split into different language zones that don’t interact with one another. Incidentally, we’re already seeing this happen with Chinese internet that’s largely separate from western one.

comfy
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What’s the solution to that? Move to Mandarin which has the most speakers but far, far less countries with many people fluent in it? Somehow make a conlang like Esperanto popular enough that billions of people learn it? Move to Spanish which is basically just the same issue with a different language?

redacted: already been answered in the other reply-chain

comfy
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Like others have said, there is a big confirmation bias: you speak English and use platforms dominated by English-speaking countries. Your view of The Internet is limited, as is all of ours.

(I’ll try not to just repeat other points, there are many excellent ones made already)

I assume by ‘western’ you mean USA, Canada, UK, etc., which are primarily English speaking as a primary language, rather than many European countries with it as a common second language. They often have their own national-language sites and forums, which obviously won’t be as big as the English-speaking ones which is able to be used by more people. Many even just hosted them on language-ambiguous platforms like US social media giants because its free and people are already there.

Additionally, USA holds an important international position at this point in time, especially in terms of pop culture, cinema, music, politics, news and technology, so US sites will probably have a lot more global appeal than, for example, Chinese sites.

@Ghast
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Right. Expanding on this:

Weechat has many users. Lots of india send ‘good morning’ texts. Kosovo has a load of crypto mining.

Despite the variety, most services are either owned by China or America, so there doesn’t seem to be all that much variety.

Mad
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Americans were here first, so all the platforms, terminology, culture etc. was defined by them. then other first-world countries, which are mostly western, created their own pockets of internet culture because they had more access to technology than developing countries. as internet access increases, western dominance of it decreases. like now there is a very prominent Indian presence on mainstream platforms, and China has a bunch of their own platforms

Because you use English-language sites? There are definitely big parts of the internet that aren’t in English, but “international” sites tend to use English as a lingua franca, and there’s a higher proportion of English speakers in western countries (including Ireland, where pretty much everyone is a native English speaker).

@lordofbud
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Starting first, money, and money, as well as money.

But seriously, how are we measuring dominance, because in the US I never see a Japanese website, but, we’re not typing in Japanese, search engines aren’t showing us results from other languages. However, their internet is rich in presence and culture, they’re doing their own thing.

I’d wager, most nations with widespread internet have a thriving internet culture and common websites you’ve never heard of.

Liwott
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Starting first, money, and money, as well as money.

I think you forgot racism 😁

I don’t think that America is trying to take over the internet because they secretly hate other non-American or European countries, American companies are just doing what is making them the most money.

Tmpod
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Ireland is a western country, just not very anglophone (though it is more so than most other Europen countries, for example).
Like others have pointed out, if you read and write in English on the Internet, you’re most likely visiting anglophone platforms, thus it is natural to never get to know, let’s say, the Portuguese Internet “culture”, with all its popular websites and quirks. I’d say every country/language has something like this, with varying degrees of richness and popularity of course.
It is true, however, that the USA’s influence on the western Internet “space” is way more significant than any other country’s, which can be attributed to a myriad of reasons, like how they had a big role in its inception and how their economy has evolved to flourish the tech industry.

GadgeteerZA
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After so many years of the Internet being in place, the many Chinese and other languages should also be just as present. I think the issue is maybe that English speakers do English searches in Google (or similar) which return English results mostly. If a searcher lived say in the Far East and did a search in Korean or Chinese, I’ll bet the results look different to what an English searcher sees.

That said, I’m also not too sure how well Google is optimised for returning non-English results. Do French or Italian speakers find search engines up to par for their languages?

@hanabatake
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I can use internet in french and I know that korean and japanese internet do exists. The question seems so weird to me. Other non-english countries do not have websites in their languages ? If I wanted, I could use mostly french websites to browse the web.

@yxzi
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With English you can reach the biggest audience, so naturally it would appear that most content comes from the Western hemisphere

@onlymemes
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Demographics.

because colonialism

comfy
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How is colonialism relevant to the anglosphere dominating the [english-speaking] internet?

dependency theory since the pillage of the americas

Catraism-Stalinism
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why are you booing him, he’s right

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