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Facebook: Local languages crucial on the Internet

Facebook: Local languages crucial on the Internet

Facebook believes that providing access to the Internet will be inadequate if devices cannot support local languages and relevant content is not available, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of the social networking giant has said.

As part of effort to connect the over 4.4 billion unconnected people globally, Facebook CEO, recently kicked off the first Internet.org summit in New Delhi, India.

India has over 1, 063 million unconnected people, being the largest in the world. Nigeria has 108 million unconnected population, the largest in Africa, according to “Offline and falling behind: Barriers to Internet adoption,” a report released by McKinsey & Company, in collaboration with Facebook.

The Summit brought together like-minded thought leaders who are focused on addressing the lack of relevant localised content online.

While delivering a keynote address at the summit, Mark noted that with over 80 percent of online content in just 10 languages, Africans and Asians are not well represented online in terms of their local languages.

“Today, more than 80% percent of the content on the Internet is in just 10 languages. So, for developing countries, especially in Asia and Africa, a lot of the people just aren’t well represented online, especially in their local language. In India, there are 22 official languages and 11 scripts, and there are hundreds of other unofficial languages. But, even though a lot of people speak these languages, there isn’t a lot of content online in these languages. Most of the services that people use are just available in English and a few other languages. But if we want to connect everyone in the world, then we really need to build services that reflect the languages in the way that people speak and communicate,” Mark said.


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Kayode Oladeinde Technology Journalist at Technology Times. Mobile: +234 (0) 7031526929

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