Elon University

The 2006 Survey: Scenario Two – English displaces other languages

Responses in reaction to the following provocative future scenario were assembled from a select group of internet stakeholders in the 2006 Pew Internet & American Life/Elon University Predictions Survey. The survey allowed respondents to select from the choices “agree” or “disagree” or to leave the scenario unanswered. Respondents were encouraged to provide a written elaboration to explain their answers; they did not always do so, but those who did provided richly detailed predictive material. Some respondents chose to identify themselves with each answer; many did not. We share some – not all – of the responses here. Workplaces of respondents whose reactions are shared below are attributed here only for the purpose of indicating a level of internet expertise; the statements reflect personal viewpoints and do not represent their companies’, universities’, or government agencies’ policies or positions. Some answers have been edited to share more respondents’ replies. This is a selection of the many carefully considered responses to the following scenario.

internet artIn 2020, networked communications have leveled the world into one big political, social, and economic space in which people everywhere meet and have verbal and visual exchanges regularly, face-to-face, over the internet. English will be so indispensable in communicating that it displaces some languages.

Compiled reactions from the 742 respondents:
42% agreed
57% disagreed
1% did not respond

Below are select responses from survey participants who agreed to be identified with their statements. To read reactions from anonymous participants responding to this question, please click here.

Both agree and disagree. English will be the lingua franca and in some communities (more functional than local) displace other languages. But the overwhelming amount of communications over the networks will occur in Chinese. – Alejandro Pisanty, CIO for UNAM (National University of Mexico); vice chairman of the board for ICANN; member of United Nations’ Working Group for Internet Governance; active in ISOC; internet user since 1977

In 2005, we’re at the peak of English language on the Internet. As internationalized domain names are introduced over the next few years, allowing users to conduct their entire online experience in their native language, English will decline as the central language of the Internet. – Bret Fausett, partner with Hancock, Rothert & Bunshoft, LLP; has done work with ICANN issues and produces ICANN.Blog

English may be the default “universal” language, but we will see a rise of other languages, including Chinese, French [francophone Africa]; and other languages, supported by technological translation! At last! – Marilyn Cade, CEO and principal, ICT Strategies, MCADE, LLC; also with Information Technology Association of America (business alliance); internet user since 1986

Chinese might be emerging as a new lingua franca. – Mark Poster, professor of film and media studies, University of California-Irvine; studies the ways social communications have changed through the introduction of new technologies; internet user since 1983

English will be a prominent language on the Internet because it is a complete trollop willing to be remade by any of its speakers (after all, English is just a bunch of mispronounced German, French and Latin words). The lack of a language academy and the concomittant formality means that English is very competitive and well suited to morphing into other languages. That said – so what? Chinese is every bit as plausible a winner. Spanish, too. Russian! Korean! – Cory Doctorow, self-employed journalist, blogger, co-editor of Boing Boing; born in Canada and now lives in London; EFF Fellow; internet user since 1987

You hedged the question at the end by saying “some languages”. There’s always a process of changing languages so some languages will disappear anyway. But the point is that English will not displace or replace the other major languages in the world, including French, Spanish, Japanese, Germanic, Hindu, etc. It is likely that English will become (as it already has in most domains) lingua franca, and a requirement that everybody learn English as a second language to have a common language to communicate with. – Stewart Alsop, investor and analyst; former editor of InfoWorld and Fortune columnist; internet user since 1994

This will drive the French crazy – their lingua franca will be passe’. Of course, a lot of 2020 English will sound Mandarinish. – Bob Metcalfe, Ethernet inventor, founder of 3Com Corporation, former CEO of InfoWorld, now a venture capitalist and partner in Polaris Venture Partners; internet user since 1970

The leveling effect is already quite visible. It seems paradoxical that the Internet can be a powerful force for memorializing and evangelizing local languages and cultures and differences and still lead to a great homogenization as the thirst for knowledge leads one invariably into Chinese and English. In 2020, many more people will be bilingual, with a working web-interaction knowledge of English to go with their native tongue. – Glenn Ricart, executive director, Price Waterhouse Coopers Advanced Research; member of the board of trustees of the Internet Society; internet user since 1968

Yes, English will displace “some” languages, but there will be, for example, much more Chinese. People pick their language according to whom they want to communicate with, and there will be many different communities with (still) many different languages. – Esther Dyson, editor Release 1.0; investor and adviser to start-ups; and member of many boards, including Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Global Business Network; former chair of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) board; internet user since 1985

I both agree and disagree – the heading “English displaces other languages” will not happen, but the text “English displaces some languages” is likely. – Ian Peter, internet pioneer, helped develop the internet in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region in the 1980s; maintains a project on the future of the internet – the Internet Mark II Project; internet user since 1986

English has momentum behind it, but I’m not at all sure that it will prevail in the long term – and 15 years out is long-term. – Reva Basch, consultant for Aubergine Information Systems (online research expert); internet user since 1973

The net of the future will very likely evolve more into a big assembly of micro webs serving micro communities and their languages. – Thomas Keller, domain services, Schlund + Partner AG (a Germany-based web-hosting company – one of the largest in Europe); internet user since 1995

First the premise that networked communications will have developed to this point is false. Second it is a fact that English has been indispensable for international communications for the last century. A fact that has not led to English displacing other languages. It is, and will continue to be, layered on top of the native language of the user of intercultural communications. – Robin Lane, educator and philosopher, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; internet user since 1990

This is in fact already true. English has already displaced a number of languages, mostly tribal ones. However, to assert that we will therefore have a large English-only world doesn’t follow; Mandarin, German, Spanish, and many other languages will continue to be important. – Fred Baker, CISCO Fellow, CISCO Systems, Internet Society (ISOC) chairman of the board; Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF); internet user since 1987

The key element here is “some languages.” English will not, alone, predominate. However, many smaller language groups will give way to a general reliance on one of several large languages such as English, but also Spanish, French, and variations on Chinese. One specific note of caution, however, is that the internet will enable some language groups to flourish through worldwide communication between disaporic members of that language group. – Matthew Allen, associate professor of internet studies at Curtin University, Australia; president of the Association of Internet Researchers; internet user since 1992

This isn’t a forecast – it is a present-tense description. Badly-accented English is to global society today what Latin once was to western society long ago. English will continue to advance, BUT the real question is whether this trend will peak in the next two decades, and I believe it will. English’s acceptance will reach a certain high-water point not terribly larger than its penetration today. Then things will get interesting. Mandarin will of course grow dramatically, but I believe we will also see the rise of divergent English dialects. And French? Well, French will be a global language, but only in France. – Paul Saffo, forecaster and strategist, director, Institute for the Future; serves on many boards, including the Long Now Foundation; Internet user since 1978

It is only English-speakers that see the dominance of English. Chinese is just as likely to be the dominant language. – Adrian Schofield, head of research for ForgeAhead (focused on ICT research and consulting in Africa), South Africa; a leader in the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA); internet user since 1994

I think that English is going to be the common language, but we will see an upsurge in use and propagation of local languages. For many users, their local language will still be the only language they use on the Internet. And of course, for low-complexity uses, we will see more translation. – David Clark, internet pioneer, senior research scientist at MIT; now working under a major National Science Foundation grant to rethink the architecture of the internet; internet user since 1975

(1) technology will allow considerable interoperability between languages making a single language less necessary (2) as in all evolutionary systems, very successful, dominant species spawn subspecies; English will continue to fragment into many sub-languages. – Bruce Edmonds, Centre for Policy Modelling, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK; internet user since 1992

While I do believe that English will continue to be the predominant language used for “across the network” human communication, I do not believe that it will be ubiquitous by 2020. In 2006 there are efforts to localize Internet protocols in a way that will likely create islands of non-English communication capabilities. These efforts will continue and will gain traction in communities where English is not spoken by a large portion of the population. – Scott Hollenbeck, director of technology, VeriSign (provider of global infrastructure services for telecommunication, content, Internet, and Ecommerce services); active director in IETF; internet user since 1988

Sure, English will displace some languages. But as the century advances, Chinese becomes more dominant, strictly because of demographic drivers. – Howard Rheingold, internet sociologist and author; one of the first writers to illuminate the ideals and foibles of virtual communities; internet user since 1990

Much too ambitious. There will still be plenty of people who will have no need for global communications in other languages, or who choose to communicate only within their local community. – Seth Finkelstein, anti-censorship activist and programmer, author of the Infothought blog and an EFF Pioneer award winner

I would expect that English will be well on the way to being the world’s most popular second language. Mandarin is a contender, but I think that typewriter keyboards will prevent it from really taking over from English. – Hal Varian, professor at University of California-Berkeley; Google; internet user since 1986

I would say “displace” is not likely. English will continue in its role as the de facto international language. However, there are countervailing forces against English language dominance on networks. Networks such as the Internet facilitate the development of communities of common interests and languages among people who may be widely dispersed geographically. Also, we will see a dramatic increase in Chinese-language content developed for the enormous online user base that will develop in China (and content that will be accessible by Chinese communities worldwide). – Alan Inouye, internet policy analyst previously with the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Research Council; internet user since 1990

English has already become common as the default language for doing business, and that trend will probably continue. The internet won’t create a single political, social and economic space – there will continue to be international divisions, and control over digital information and networks will emerge as a source of tension. – Nicholas Carr, independent writer and consultant whose work centers on information technology; internet user since 1987

Did you know there is a journal of World Englishes (plural) indicating that what happened to Latin may happen to English. In spite of these differences it will grow in importance but concurrently so will Spanish and Mandarin and perhaps a couple of others. Indigenous languages will have a hard time changing to accommodate the impact of popular media languages, though more people will use ICT to try to revitalize some languages or spread the use of them outside of local places. – Steve Cisler, former senior library scientist for Apple, founder of the Association for Community Networking, now working on public-access projects in Guatemala, Ecuador and Uganda; internet user since 1989

In spite of its Anglophile appearance, there are numerous reasons to believe this will be true. Just as the young are often the most adroit at using the net, so also, the young are most adaptable at learning new languages if/when they are exposed to them. English has already become the mandated standard language, globally, for air-traffic controllers and pilots. Just as radio and TV largely homogenized spoken speech across the USA, radically reducing the local and regional dialects that existed around the nation circa 1900, so-to will global network communications homogenize its default common language. God knows, English isn’t the easiest or most rational of languages, but it’s the one that has a massive head-start throughout that global net, and that’s probably enough. English is also becoming more and more the language of global business. Additionally, most keyboards around the world are the ASCII character set; the accent characters of other Western languages require special finger contortions, and it seems certain that the world will NOT standardize on any of the more complex character sets of the East, much less the pictograms of Asia. (Those nations generally still have incompatible and non-standardized keyboards, key-strokes and digital codes for their characters, and it’s only 15 years to 2020.) – Jim Warren, internet pioneer (founding editor of Dr. Dobb’s Journal), technology-policy advocate and activist, futurist; internet user since 1970

Indeed, some 50 or 60 percent of the world’s 6000 languages will be extinct by 2020, but it won’t be just English that replaces them. The available selections will be fewer, but not exclusively English or American. – Douglas Rushkoff, author of many books about net culture, teacher, New York University; internet user since 1985

“Two powerful trends will collide: English will become more prevalent as American culture and technology flow out across the world, but critical mass will also be achieved for global communications in Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese and Arabic as new Internet protocols which support International Domain Names are more widely adopted.” – Marc Rotenberg, executive director Electronic Privacy Information Center; internet user since 1978

The Chinese don’t show any desire to abandon their language, nor do the Arabs. Computer technology increases the frequency of communication, which creates a desire to communicate across boundaries. But the technology also enables communication in multiple languages, using various alphabets. In fact, by 2020, we might see automatic translation systems. – Christian Huitema, pioneering internet engineer (on the Internet Architecture Board from 1991-96; Internet Society from 1995-2001; still active in building the internet)

The world will be interconnected, but people as individuals and cultures will still seek and NEED differentiation. As someone who organizes international peace projects in over 30 countries and many more communities, English is the common tool and will be the tool in the future. BUT translation tools enhance the capacity of the trading of ideas and information and will allow maintaining multi lingual interaction. For synchronous communication English will be the tool. For interactive multi-player content over the web – English will be the language. Predictions of Chinese taking over are not serious, the cultural and cognitive differences entailed in learning Chinese will not allow most of western society to be able to master it. – Amos Davidowitz, director of education, training and special programs for Institute of World Affairs, Association for Progressive Education; internet user since 1994

English will maintain its linguistic hegemony of the Internet. But there will be parallel Internet universes, with English being the babelfish for metaverse translations. – Tunji Lardner, CEO for the West African NGO network: wangonet.org; agendaconsulting.biz; has held various consultancies for the World Bank and United Nations as well as being a resource person and consultant to the UNDP African Internet Initiative; internet user since 1988

I agree to some extent, because I believe that communications will be universally translated, probably into English, however I also believe that unless whole cultures disappear, some global integration of language made up of visual, aural and written elements will emerge as the dominent means of communicating. – Tom Snook, CTO, New World Symphony, internet user since 1967

This is not a prediction, English has already displaced some languages, and by 2020 our linguistic ecosystem will be infinitely poorer than it was 50 years ago. I don’t believe however that the internet is the primary cause of this. In fact, by making content in one’s language more readily available, I believe it can be a counter-balancing factor, albeit not strong enough to outweigh the current steep loss of language diversity. I hardly doubt that the internet will turn the world into one big political, social, and economic space though. Not in 15 years at least! – Robin Berjon, W3C and Expway; internet user since 1996

I think some internationalized variation of English will evolve. Internet and instant messenger-based acronyms will grow into every day use, fwiw. This new slang will be combined with new words and concepts – like blog, wiki, chat, to form a new ‘net dialect of English. – Michael Gorrell, senior VP and CIO for EBSCO; internet user since 1994

I agree, but only to a point. It’s more likely that English will evolve through linguistic contact with other tongues to have numerous variants that make it challenging to understand for persons not from that region. For example consider “Spanglish,” which is an amalgam of Spanish and English. It’s probable that this will obtain for “Chenglish ” (Chinese English) and other hybrid languages after several years. – William Kearns, assistant professor at the University of South Florida; internet user since 1992

While I believe that English will remain the dominant or bulge language of the Internet, I think that many guilds of different languages will co-exist with the modal English guild and flourish as long-tail guilds. – VK Wong, director of IT campus initiatives and CARAT (Collaboratory for Advanced Research and Academic Technologies), University of Michigan; internet user since 1981

While I agree that English will be the predominant language of the Internet, I also feel that a number of countries will want to preserve their culture and insist on the use of their language. It is highly likely that products/services will be in place and widely available that will handle the translation as necessary. If you think of the heritage and the desire of the persons living in Quebec City to maintain their use of the French language. As “global” economies reach out and improve the world, I anticipate a renewed sense of tradition and patriotism. – Mike McCarty, chief network officer, Johns Hopkins; internet user since 1992

English will continue to expand as the online language of the world. However, other languages might even flourish as more people get to know one another on-line and then follow their curiosity to learn about cultures and languages of those with whom they are communicating. Increased respect for multiple viewpoints and insight will follow expanded global communication. – Ed Lyell, pioneer in issues regarding internet and education, professor at Adams State College; internet user since 1965

English is already the lingua franca of technology. This will not change. On the other hand, real-time communications will facilitate language learning and proficiency for those who want to learn or perfect additional language skills. – Joe Bishop, VP business development, Marratech AB; internet user since 1994

Well, this is true, but it’s already been happening for several hundred years, so it’s not new. On the other hand, Internet resources will permit some languages to thrive by connecting scattered speakers and by making existing and new materials in those languages available. – John S. Quarterman, president InternetPerils Inc.; publisher of the first “maps” of the internet; internet user since 1974

Language is tied to culture, national pride, and potential reach. I doubt that the rest of the world would simply succumb to English dominance. – Rashid Bashshur, director of telemedicine, University of Michigan; internet user since 1980

Ubiquitous communication capabilities don’t’ bring homogenization. If anything, communities will continue to flourish, encouraging “marginal” languages to gain wider use. – Ross Rader, director of research and innovation, Tucows Inc; internet user since 1991

Most non-English speaking countries already teach English in schools because they recognize it as a common denominator language. Air traffic control worldwide is already standardized on English. This doesn’t mean that other languages won’t exist and there won’t be social and economic spaces in which non-English languages continue to be used. However, I believe as more companies and industries become global they will be forced to communicate in one common language just as the European Union now uses one common currency. – Rangi Keen, software engineer, Centric Software, internet user since 1989

English and Chinese will certainly be the most used languages for global communications, but they will NOT replace the languages that have sustained different ethnic groups over the centuries. Like many Negroes in North America, who speak a colloquial form of English at home and among close friends and “standard” (vocabulary and pronunciation) English in their workplace, so, too will people around the world maintain their local, ethnic tongues for communicating with compatriots. These local languages are capable of nuances, and a whole range of marvelous rhetorical devices, which English and Chinese cannot hope to compete with. Portuguese, for example, is a language that is highly expressive, mischievous, sensual and constantly open to delightful, “politically incorrect” neologisms. There’s no way these local languages will be substituted. Rather, people who have the opportunity to speak them will be able to “wear two hats,” switching between the local language and Chinese or English as the type and destination of the communications require. – Fredric M. Litto, professor, University of Sao Paulo; president, ABED-Brazilian Association for Distance Education; internet user since 1993

The same types of predictions were made about the telephone in the 1920, but there is still a diversity of language spoken and used online. – Robert Kraut, Human Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon University

This will not happen. If any language is to ultimately dominate, it’s likely to be Chinese where most of the future growth of the Internet will take place. English-speaking countries have a diminishing share of the presence on the Internet. – Robert Shaw, internet strategy and policy advisor, International Telecommunication Union (ITU); internet user since 1987

I would like to see the preservation of some languages via use of the Internet as opposed to the displacement of any, with the possibility of global connections between language users and learners, giving a critical mass to keep even rare languages alive, blended with the possibilities of real time translation. We should be able to talk/read in our own preferred language selection(s) from a vast variety of language sources. – Cheryl Langdon-Orr, independent internet business operator and director for ISOC-Australia; internet user since 1977

1. The overall proportion of English content on the Web will continue to diminish. 2. As new Internet users are increasingly non-English speaking, the relative importance of English in communications will also diminish. 3. Language consolidation and erosion of linguistic diversity will continue, but through multiple “über-languages” (English, Spanish, Chinese, French, etc.). – Luc Faubert, consultant, dDocs Information Inc.; president of Quebec’s Internet Society chapter and an ambassador to the World Summit on Information Society; member of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR); internet user since 1985

In many ways, this has already happened, with email playing a significant role. English has become a nearly crucial language to use for Internet-based communications, but while it may dominate in “cyberspace,” people will continue to use their native languages for everyday communications. This idea is a utopian vision that, while attractive in many ways, doesn’t have much chance of happening in the next 15 years. – Philip Joung, Spirent Communications (wireless positioning products); internet user since 1989

English is likely to become the common language, however I am not so sure it will displace some languages by 2020. It will likely become the language of choice for interaction over dispersed networks. – Rajnesh D. Singh, PATARA Communications & Electronics Ltd., Avon Group, GNR Consulting, ISOC Pacific Islands; internet user since 1993

English may well become more prevalent, especially as a second or universal language, but it will not displace all other languages. – Thomas Narten, IBM open-internet standards development; Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) liaison to ICANN; internet user since 1983

I think that politics will continue to play an important role. One cannot say anything to anyone anywhere because their will be censorship. – Mike Gill, electronics engineer, National Library of Medicine; internet user since 1988

English will not be the predominant language as the net/web becomes more global. – Sharon Lane, president, WebPageDesign; internet user since 1990

Though English is likely to be indispensable online in the future, the increase in connectivity around the world means that there is greater likelihood of regional, local, and national online communities forming and becoming vital. These communities would not need languages other than their native tongues, creating pockets of the internet that are as localized as a vegetable market. In the broader scheme, English is likely to be rivaled by Chinese as the most common language, followed by Spanish. – Christopher Johnson, co-founder and CEO for ifPeople, Inspiring Futures; internet user since 1995

Online communication leads to more education and literacy, and nations that are more educated and literate learn to maintain their local cultures and languages while learning English and other key languages. It could well become a badge of honor for local communities to maintain their own local references and slang. – Andy Oram, writer and editor for O’Reilly Media; internet user since 1983

The Internet will become more multilingual; however, English will remain the predominate language. I expect that English will become, for some, a second language rather than a replacement for their native tongue. – Joel Hartman, CIO, University of Central Florida; internet user since 1970

Although English will be the lingua franca of international communication, cultural works are so intertwined with language that the only way that English could replace those languages is to replace the culture altogether. The creation of the Universal Character Set/Unicode should make it possible for cultural activity to take place using computing platforms. Science, however, has already moved to a single language (English), and will continue in that direction. – Karen Coyle, information professional and librarian; internet user since 1983

English will continue to displace some languages on the Internet; some other languages will become more familiar to English-speakers BECAUSE they are frequently encountered on the Internet. – Peter Roll, retired chief system administrator; internet user since 1981

English may be dominant; however, technology will allow immediate translation such that language (at least the several major languages of the world) will not be an issue – allowing one to hear/read in the language they want. – Don Heath, board member, iPool, Brilliant Cities Inc., Diversified Software, Alcatel, Foretec; internet user since 1988

English has the same network effects that made the Internet grow. – John Browning, co-founder of First Tuesday, a global network dedicated to entrepreneurs; former writer for The Economist and other top publications; internet user since 1989

This is already happening. Since the 1990s non-English pages on the web often offered translations into English for at least some of their content, but the same is not as common for English -language sites. &CR;&CR;On the other hand, it seems clear that new global linguistic communities will thrive, and bonds between diasporic language communities (Mandarin, French, Spanish) will represent significant blocks of discourse online. – Alex Halavais, assistant professor, State University of New York-Buffalo; internet user since 1984

Regrettably. At a recent conference of Nordic and Baltic countries with only 2 native English speakers, English was still the designated conference language – and would have been with no native English speakers present. I am not sure this is driven only by the Internet. – Leigh Estabrook, professor, University of Illinois; internet user since 1978

English is and will continue to be an important “bridging” language, but it will not dispalce other languages as “bonding” languages. – Hernando Rojas, a native of Colombia, a professor in the department of life sciences communication at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, consultant for the United Nations Development Program

Emphasis on “some languages.” English won’t displace some major languages, which will actually enlarge their presence on the net by 2020. – Peter Levine, director of CIRCLE (Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement), University of Maryland; internet user since 1993

The advantages of a common language will continue to give an advantage to English. This advantage is less important in asynchronous communications which grant those who are not facile with English the time to compose and reflect. – Charles Hendricksen, research collaboration architect for Cedar Collaboration; internet user since 1968

English won’t “displace.” It will co-exist. More will know/use English to access the net’s riches. Yet a great absolute number and percentage of the web will be available in non-English. – Barry Wellman, researcher on virtual communities and workplaces; professor and director of NetLab at University of Toronto; internet user since 1976

When you say “English,” is that American, British, Australian, Indian, Singaporean. There is no one “English.” I’d prefer we try to get decent education, jobs, living spaces, and health care for everyone before getting all excited about networking them. You’re terribly discounting the very technology you say will advance, as well. If the technology is so advanced, why can’t it translate on the fly? Maybe this will slow the adoption of English. Google language tools aren’t perfect, and only do text, but if you’re thinking that technology will improve there’s no reason to think it won’t improve in this area. – Nathaniel Poor, lecturer in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan

Displaces how? In non-networked usage? Network penetration will tend to increase and consolidate the position of English as the language of business and the language of technology, and thus the default second language for most. Off the network? The social and cultural functions of language, particularly in communities of a certain size, will keep local languages alive. Several forces will keep other languages strong. Competitive advantage in domestic markets + Community and identity issues + Personal need to maintain identity in postmodern world + Community size and isolation (economically, geographically, electronically) + Political motivation + Ease of maintaining communication with language community electronically. To sum up: English will displace where it already is doing so. Other languages may thrive as the “small world” both eases personal and community communication, raises questions about culture and identity for the individual, and pressures language communities to (socioculturally) defend their existence. – Michael Cannella, IT manager for Volunteers of America-Michigan

Individual cultures will be bolstered by making it easier to access culture-specific information online. Software will be increasingly internationalized and localized, and machine translation will be improved to the point where it can give the gist of a text in many languages. – Simon Woodside, CEO, Semacode Corporation, based in Ontario, Canada; internet user since 1992

What is observed is a steady increase in linguistic diversity on the net and relative reduction of the share of English language on the various resources. The challenge to “minority” languages will not be altered by expanded ICT while the latter will continue to offer new options for their preservation, teaching and use. – Michel Menou, professor and information-science researcher; born in France, he has worked in nearly 80 nations; internet user since 1992

English will become the language of choice simply because the technical aspects will drive it. Not only the US, Canada, British, and Indian nucleus, but the Chinese/asian countries will adapt in order to sell their products to this market. Eventually, it will be adopted with the exception of some European and South American holdouts. – Terry Ulaszewski, publisher, Long Beach Live Community News; internet user since 1989

English – especially American English – has already become the language of money. – Martin F. Murphy, IT consultant, City of New York; internet user since 1993