Europe Calls for Multi-Lingual Web Sites
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The European Commission is calling for Internet companies to offer multi-lingual web sites in a bid to give the US a run for its money in the ecommerce arena. As a report from Jupiter research reveals that Europe will account for over 40 per cent of the world's internet users by the end of this year, increasing the diversity of languages used on the net.
The European Telecommunications Council, headed up by commissioner Erkki Liikanen, said that multi-lingual websites are not a high enough priority for most businesses, and online companies need to be encouraged to use translation on their sites. "Encouraging the use of European digital content on world networks and promoting linguistic diversity," he said.
Liikanen was also hammering home Europe's better position in the wireless sector, saying that Europe is in a strong position to take the lead when mobile commerce takes off, as long as companies get the content right and offer it in a number of languages. Research from the Gartner Group found that more than 285 million Europeans will own Wap enabled mobile phones by 2003, but in the U.S., the number will be more like 150.5 million.