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The web, a multilingual encyclopedia

The web, a multilingual encyclopedia

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Project Gutenberg's The web, a multilingual encyclopedia, by Marie Lebert

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org

** This is a COPYRIGHTED Project Gutenberg eBook, Details Below ** ** Please follow the copyright guidelines in this file. **

Title: The web, a multilingual encyclopedia

Author: Marie Lebert

Release Date: January 10, 2013 [EBook #41814]

Language: English

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE WEB, A MULTILINGUAL ENCYCLOPEDIA ***

Produced by Al Haines

THE WEB, A MULTILINGUAL ENCYCLOPEDIA

MARIE LEBERT, 2012

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1974 > The internet “took off” 1990 > The invention of the web 1990 > The LINGUIST List 1991 > From ASCII to Unicode 1994 > Travlang, travel and languages 1995 > The Internet Dictionary Project 1995 > NetGlos, a glossary of the internet 1995 > Various languages on our screen 1995 > Global Reach, promoting localization 1996 > OneLook Dictionaries, a “fast finder” 1997 > 82.3% of the web in English 1997 > The internet, a tool for minority languages 1997 > A European terminology database 1997 > Babel Fish, a free translation software 1997 > The tools of the translation company Logos 1997 > Specialized terminology databases 1998 > The need for a “linguistic democracy” 1999 > Bilingual dictionaries in WordReference.com 1999 > The internet, a mandatory tool for translators 1999 > The need for bilingual information online 2000 > Online encyclopedias and dictionaries 2000 > The web portal yourDictionary.com 2000 > Project Gutengerg and languages 2001 > Wikipedia, a collaborative encyclopedia 2001 > UNL, a digital metalanguage project 2001 > A market for language translation software 2004 > The web 2.0, community and sharing 2007 > The ISO 639-3 standard to identify languages 2007 > Google Translate 2009 > 6,909 languages in the Ethnologue 2010 > A UNESCO atlas for endangered languages

INTRODUCTION

"The web will be an encyclopedia of the world by the world for the world. There will be no information or knowledge that anyone needs that will not be available. The major hindrance to international and interpersonal understanding, personal and institutional enhancement, will be removed. It would take a wilder imagination than mine to predict the effect of this development on the nature of humankind." (Robert Beard, founder of A Web of Online Dictionaries, september 1998)

This book is a chronology in 31 chapters from 1974 to 2010. Many thanks to all those who are quoted here, for their time and their friendship. Unless specified otherwise, the quotes are excerpts from the interviews conducted by the author during several years and published in the same collection.

1974 > THE INTERNET "TOOK OFF"

[Summary] The internet “took off” in 1974 with the creation of TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol) by Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn, fifteen years before the invention of the web. The internet expanded as a network linking U.S. governmental agencies, universities and research centers, before spreading worldwide in 1983. The internet got its first boost in 1990 with the invention of the web by Tim Berners-Lee, and its second boost in 1993 with the release of Mosaic, the first browser for the general public. The Internet Society (ISOC) was founded in 1992 by Vinton Cerf to promote the development of the internet as a medium that was becoming part of our lives. There were 100 million internet users in December 1997, with one million new users per month, and 300 million users in December 2000.

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The internet “took off” in 1974 with the creation of TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol) by Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn, fifteen years before the invention of the web.

# A new medium

The internet expanded as a network linking U.S. governmental agencies, universities and research centers, before spreading worldwide in 1983.

The internet got its first boost in 1990 with the invention of the web by Tim Berners-Lee, and its second boost in 1993 with the release of Mosaic, the first browser for the general public.

Vinton Cerf founded the Internet Society (ISOC) in 1992 to promote the development of the internet as a medium that was becoming part of our lives. When interviewed by the French daily Libération on 16 January 1998, he explained that the network was doing two things. Like books, it could accumulate knowledge. But, more importantly, it presented knowledge in a way that connected it with other information whereas, in a book, information stayed isolated.

Because the web was easy to use with hyperlinks going from one document to the next, the internet could now be used by anyone, and not only by computer literate users. There were 100 million internet users in December 1997, with one million new users per month, and 300 million users in December 2000.

# A worldwide expansion

North America was leading the way in computer science and communication technology, with significant funding and cheap computers compared to Europe. A connection to the internet was much cheaper too.

In some European countries, internet users needed to surf the web at night (including the author of these lines), when phone rates by the minute were cheaper, to cut their expenses. In late 1998 and early 1999, some users in France, Germany and Italy launched a movement to boycott the internet one day per week, as a way to force internet providers and phone companies to set up a special monthly rate. This action paid off, and providers began to offer "internet rates".

In summer 1999, the number of internet users living outside the
U.S. reached 50%.

In summer 2000, the number of internet users having a mother tongue other than English also reached 50%, and went on steadily increasing then. According to statistics regularly published on the website of Global Reach, a marketing consultancy promoting internationalization and localization, they were 52.5% in summer 2001, 57% in December 2001, 59.8% in April 2002, 64.4% in September 2003 (including 34.9% non-English-speaking Europeans and 29.4% Asians), and 64.2% in March 2004 (including 37.9% non- English-speaking Europeans and 33% Asians).

Broadband became the norm over the years. Jean-Paul, webmaster of the hypermedia website cotres.net, summarized things in January 2007: “I feel that we are experiencing a ‘floating’ period between the heroic ages, when we were moving forward while waiting for the technology to catch up, and the future, when high-speed broadband will unleash forces that just begin to move, for now only in games.”

# The internet of the future

The internet of the future could be a “pervasive” network allowing us to connect in any place and at any time on any device through a single omnipresent network.

The concept of a “pervasive” network was developed by Rafi Haladjian, founder of the European

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