(No.70) Use of Latin and Native Languages on the Internet

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Status: 
Accepted
Workshop Theme: 
Access and Diversity
Theme Question: 

Which is the presence of Latin and Native American Languages in the Internet?

Concise Description of Workshop: 

This worshop has been organized in the IGF of Sharm el Sheik, in the IGF of Vilnius and in the IGF in Kenya. Although some latin languages like Spanish and Portuguese are spoken by hundreds of million people, there is not a direct relationship with these figures and the presence of these languages on the Internet. Even more challenging is the situation of native languages in the Internet, which are also challenged even in their national environment. Although there seem to be many barriers, there are also several projects and examples that show that from different perspectives, goverment, private sector, NGOs and academy, these difficulties can be solved and languages can find their way in the Internet.
The workshop will review again the challenges that these languages face in the Internet, both from the content perspective and also from the IDNs and other diversity innitiatives, and will review also successful stories of lowering existing barriers for these languages. A prospective revision through the outcomes of the other workshops will be done as well. The main questions that the workshop will try to answer are included in the following Workshop agenda.
WORKSHOP AGENDA
- Why latin languages have a lower presence in the Internet?
- Are there cultural factors that may influence this tendency?
- Is it there a relationship between development and the presence of a language in the Internet?
- Which are the main projects that could make a change in this?
- What happens with native american languages in the internet?
- Are these languages present in the Internet?
- Is the Internet an opportunity to preserve the culture?
- Closing remarks, next steps to follow, conclusion.
 
 

Organiser(s) Name: 

Olga Cavalli, Regional Director, South School on Internet Governance - Workshop organizer and moderator

Submitted Workshop Panelists: 

Vanessa Fusco Nogueira Simoes, Ministerio de Justicia de Minas Gerais, Brazil. (confirmed)
Beatriz Lopez Crespo - Adivisor Telasamigas.net (Confirmed)
Nacho Amadoz, Policy and Regulations Manager, Fundacio .cat. (confirmed remote)
Jorge Vega Iracelay, Microsoft Legal and Corporate Affairs Senior Director for Mexico (Confirmed).
Eduardo Santoyo, Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Country Manager for the ccTLD .CO, and President of the LACTLD board of directors (Confirmed)
Gorka Orueta, Universidad del País Vasco (Confirmed - remote)
Ivan Sanchez Medina - Commissioner National Commission of Communications of Colombia (Confirmed - Remote)
Adrián Carballo - SSIG - South School on Internet Governace  (confirmed)

Name of Remote Moderator(s): 
Adrián Carballo, South SSIG Institutional Relations Director.
Gender Report Card
Please estimate the overall number of women participants present at the session: 
About half of the participants were women
To what extent did the session discuss gender equality and/or women's empowerment?: 
It was mentioned briefly in the presentations and discussions
Please include any comments or recommendations you have on how to improve the inclusion of issues related to gender equality and: 

There were too many activities happening at the same time so it is difficult to evaluate gender balance in the audience.

Report
Reported by: 
Olga Cavalli, Director South School on Internet Governance
A brief substantive summary and the main issues that were raised: 

 
Although some Latin languages like Spanish and Portuguese are spoken by hundreds of million people, there is not a direct relationship with these figures and the presence of these languages on the Internet. Even more challenging is the situation of native languages in the Internet, which are also challenged even in their national environment. Although there seem to be many barriers, there are also several projects and examples that show that from different perspectives, government, private sector, NGOs and academy, these difficulties can be solved and languages can find their way in the Internet.
The workshop reviewed the challenges that these languages face in the Internet, both from the content perspective and also from the IDNs and other diversity initiatives, and will review also successful stories of lowering existing barriers for these languages.
Panelists: 
·       Nacho Amadoz, Policy and Regulations Manager, Fundacio .cat.
·       Jorge Vega Iracelay, Microsoft Legal and Corporate Affairs Senior Director for Mexico
·       Eduardo Santoyo, Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Country Manager for the ccTLD .CO, and President of the LACTLD board of directors
·       Gorka Orueta, Universidad del País Vasco
·       Andrés Piazza - LACNIC
·       Adrián Carballo - SSIG - South School on Internet Governace  
Organizer: Olga Cavalli - Director South School on Internet Governance. Secretary ISOC Argentina Chapter
www.gobernanzainternet.org

Conclusions and further comments: 

 
The participation of panelists and audience was very active and several conclusiones and comments were made:
- Internet is a enabling tool for preserving languages that are endangered or may could dissappear. Also younger generations use the Internet to promote, learn and teach their own local languages that even previous generations were not using so much. This is happening in several areas of Eurpe like Pais Vasco or Catalunya.
- In the Pais Vasco, the University of Pais Vasco has been working with the community on education, but also inside the families building books and materials, online courses for the people to learn Vasco.  Translation of many applications has been very important.
- In Latin America there are several native american languages that are still present and spoken in Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay and in some areas of the rest of the countries in the region. There Internet is an opportunity for preserving these languages, but some of these languages do not have a written form so in some cases the sounds are written using the latin caracters in order to make them able to be written.
- In Latin America two main languages, Aymara and Quechua, are the official languages for two countries, Bolivia and Peru.  They're difficult to preserve, the Peruvian scientific network had some activities in order to introduce the use of Internet within the country.  There was mentioned by Eduardo Santoyo from .co, the experience of working with some indigenous called Ashanikas.  They use internet for their own develop, but the problem was that the access to the villages was difficult.  There was recording of their messages with Ashanikas in Peru and Ecuador.  They have the possibilities to have the use of internet in order to get better communications within their own tribes. 
- Microsoft has developed Windows and other software tools in native american languages, in order to allow local communities to use these tools.
- In 2012 the 3 million users of the Internet are concentrated just in 12 languages and English.  Internet continues its growth with the English as main language and Latin alphabet languages are approx. 84% present in the Internet when the population of the world that uses Latin script is only 39%.  One of the challenges of the World Summit on Information Society was to promote the development of contents in different languages than English. 
- The project of .cat in catalán language has also been an enabling example for other community new gtlds. In the first round of new gtlds, here are 84 community applications and some of them are related to linguistic and cultural applications.  This round is already closed and it could be good to analyze how the communities have been regarded by ICANN as a special case to be promoted in relation with the diversity of the DNS.
- LACNIC the regional RIR makes an effort in having all the content of their web page in three languages, spanish, English and Portuguese.
- General conclusion was that the Internet has two sides related with languages:
1- It undoubtly offers an opportunity for communities to preserve and promote regional languages and culture, which in some cases may be endangered.
2- Mainly the content is developed in few languages, and this represents a barrier to those wo do not speak them and an opportunity for other languages into content creation.
Communities have an opportunity with the Internet and governments, companies, univdersities should profit from these tools to develop and promote generation of new content.