by Carlos Arredondo @ MATT.org
A recent study “Spanish on the Internet” came out as part of Fundacion Telefonica’s “The Economic Value of Spanish”. The report’s authors labeled the internet as being in the same category of inventions throughout history as printing, the telegraph, the telephone, the radio and television as they all pertain to language; and revealed some interesting statistics. Essentially the bottom line is that Spanish ranks in at third, both in content and users, on the World Wide Web. Presently there are some 136 million Spanish-speaking internet users globally, behind Chinese’s 383 million and English’s 478 million which together account for 50% of all users. These 136 million Spanish-speaking users represent 33% of the Spanish-speaking population, and some 8% of the internet users around the world. As far as content goes, according to Google, right now there are some 681 million pages in Spanish, while there are 806 million in Chinese and 9,890 million in English. Also mentioned is the recent rapid growth of the Spanish segment as well as various contributing factors. For example, in just the three years between 2006 and 2009 the percentage of the population in Spanish speaking regions of the world with access to the internet doubled from 15.1% to 30.5%.
All this without touching on the significance of Spanish as a spoken language… the general secretary of the Association of Spanish Language Academies stated in January that by 2050 10% of the world’s population will speak Spanish with United States being the biggest Spanish speaking country.