Friday, March 25, 2011

Language and Internet Use in Korea

An article in The Korea Times today touches on a topic which was the subject of many earlier posts on this blog (for example this one),  the important role of language in conditioning the web-surfing patterns of most Korean citizens. It notes that the internet has become the first source of information for many people, but expresses doubt that most Koreans make use of most of the information available on the web.“Text in Korean makes up less than 1 percent on the Internet. The remaining 99 percent has been useless,” says Lois Kim, head of PR and marketing for Google in Korea.  The article then proceeds to note progress in machine-translation technology, led by Google.  Improvements in such technology promise to open up a vast new world of content for Korean netizens.  I'm wondering if good translation alone will have this result or if there is more to it, such as cultural preferences for activities, topics, and so forth.  Comments welcome.

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