When I read the first couple of sentences in the following quote of a Eurobarometer study conducted by the Gallup Organization about the languages preferred by European Internet users, I was very happy.
While 90% of Internet surfers in the EU prefer to access websites in their own language, 55% at least occasionally use a language other than their own when online. However, 44% of European Internet users feel they are missing interesting information because web pages are not in a language that they understand and only 18% buy products online in a foreign language.
At last, I thought, a study that will help me wrangle more work from those customers that believe that everybody speaks English and that they therefore don’t need to pay for translations unless EU laws force them to have a document in German.
But the next sentence was sobering:
The results underline the need for investment in online translation tools so that EU Internet users are not excluded from finding information or products online because they lack the language skills.
Not so much music anymore.
Still, the 125-page report makes for interesting reading. It is available as PDF document on-line – albeit only in English.