Per Al Jazeera, 95% of the world’s languages continue to be unrepresented online.
The real problem is a digital architecture that forces people to operate on the terms of another culture, unable to continue the development of their own.
The architecture of the web influences the languages and cultures interacting with it:
He rightly homes in on the invisible underpinnings that enable us to use a language online, such as input methods, OS support (on a range of devices, in countless applications), transliteration and translation and spell-checking tools. Just developing a Yiddish spell-checker, for instance, has required a stable input method for the modified Hebrew alphabet that Yiddish uses, the prior standardization of that alphabet (still contested), standardized spellings of most words (sometimes contested), technical ease in handling the Yiddish alphabet and a loaded dictionary.
It’s complex to reflect the world views and cultures of the world on the web.
Each language reflects a unique world-view and culture complex, mirroring the manner in which a speech community has resolved its problems in dealing with the world, and has formulated its thinking, its system of philosophy and understanding of the world around it. In this, each language is the means of expression of the intangible cultural heritage of people, and it remains a reflection of this culture for some time even after the culture which underlies it decays and crumbles, often under the impact of an intrusive, powerful, usually metropolitan, different culture.
What makes it such a challenge to both incorporate multiple languages on the web, and also to build out fleshed-out versions of those languages?