English is not the only language spoken on the Net and companies hoping to capitalize on that diversity are increasingly offering non-English service.
Deja News, a site that archives and organizes the Net's bulletin board system, today becomes the latest company to offer--and tout--its support for non-English speakers by today announcing that it is offering support for 17 non-English languages.
While English remains the dominant language on the Internet, and in fact many nonnative speakers converse in English, companies are also trying to accommodate those who cannot or do not want to converse in English.
As the Net continues to boom, more and more people are coming online and not all of them want to, or can, speak English. While non-English-based sites have known this for years, American companies are increasingly trying to capitalize on this phenomena by introducing services geared toward a multilingual society.
"Much like the Web itself, Internet discussion is not just a North American phenomenon," Guy Hoffman, president and CEO of Deja News said in a statement. "We're seeing as much as 30 percent of the discussion on Deja News in languages other than English."
Deja News is far from the first site to offer such support, but it remains one of the most popular sites for those seeking to search the millions of messages sent through the Net's bulletin board system, Usenet.
The company is employing software that will allow people to search the Net for postings written in 17 different languages: Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Vietnamese.
The software "scans discussion content for clues as to the language origin of millions of individual messages," according to Deja News. "Such clues include particular character sets and word patterns unique to a specific language."