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Arabs ahead of the English in cyberspace?

Lamat R Hasan, PTI  New Delhi, July 14, 2007
First Published: 10:36 IST(14/7/2007) | Last Updated: 21:41 IST(14/7/2007)

Chinese, Portuguese and even Arabic users are penetrating cyberspace at a faster pace than English speakers, according to a list on global internet users by language.


According to the Global Language Monitor, which analyses current trends in language - English users of the worldwide web grew at 157.7 per cent between 2000 and 2007, while Chinese surfers, who equal English ones in terms of percentage of all internet users, grew at 413 per cent.

But the real surprise were Arabic cyber buffs. Though their overall percentage among internet users is an abysmal 2.5 per cent, their numbers grew at a phenomenal 940.5 per cent in the last seven years.

Internet penetration -- the ratio between the sum of internet users speaking a language and the total population which speaks that specific language -- for English was a mere 17.9 per cent.

But for Arabic users, the figure stood at 8.5 per cent, much more than its 2.5 per cent share among overall internet users.

Neilsen, which compiled the list, assigned only one language to a user even though some users were bilingual or multilingual.

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