A recently published EU survey explores online language usage

Eurobarometer has published results which will be of interest to Christian individuals and organisations which make significant investments in online presence. The survey may also have broader application to all Christian Media organisations with an interest in Europe.

Across all 27 EU countries, 54% said they had gone online several times a day and 30% said it had been about once a day. 80% of Internet users said they had used the Internet on a daily basis in the four weeks prior to the survey

A slim majority (55%) of Internet users in the EU said that they used at least one language other than their own to read or watch content on the Web; from 50% in Hungary to 90%-93% in Greece, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Malta and Cyprus.

In Italy, the Czech Republic, Ireland and the UK, a majority of Internet users said that they only used their own language to read and watch content on the Internet (between 52% and 85%).

English was by far the most frequently used language, other than respondents’ own, when going online: 48% of Internet users in the EU mentioned using English for reading or watching content on the Internet and 29% said the same for writing on the Internet. Internet users, who used a language other than their own when going online, carried out several Internet activities in this language. For example, 81% of these respondents said they at least occasionally used another language when browsing to get information, or when reading or watching the news.

Although 9 in 10 Internet users in the EU said that, when given a choice of languages, they always visited a website in their own language, a slim majority (53%) would accept using an English version of a website if it was not available in their own language. Internet users in Cyprus and Malta were the most willing to use an English language website if this website was not available in their language (90% and 97%, respectively). Other countries with a high proportion of respondents willing to use an English language website were Slovenia (81%), Greece and Sweden (both 85%).

About 8 in 10 (81%) interviewees thought that all websites produced in their country should also have versions available in other languages. The proportion of respondents who agreed with this statement ranged from 50% in Finland to 96% in Greece.

Finally, more than 4 in 10 (44%) Internet users in the EU thought they missed interesting information because websites were not available in a language they understood.

Source: Flash Eurobarometer No 313: User language preferences online Available for free download at http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/flash/fl_313_en.pdf

Explore posts in the same categories: EU, Eurooppa, Europa, europe, evangelism, internet, Language learning, mission

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