MULTILINGUAL ASPECTS IN CYBERSPACE
The network-centered information society is just starting to evolve. Information and knowledge are forming one of the basic ingredients of such society. However, if that information and knowledge does not permeate the texture of the global society and be assimilated by the different societies worldwide, it will have a limited impact on the global community. The convergence of computer and telecommunication technologies is changing the way we perform work, communicate with each other, do business transactions and make use of the different services. A profound impact on education, learning and acquiring knowledge does not need to be emphasized. Information presentation in visual images, sound and natural language either as text or speech is gradually becoming the norm. The Internet is creating a global platform where a worldwide forum is evolving that is becoming vital to economic, social and political success. However, all these developments create problems. Examples of such problems are: access to much of the information may be available only to the computer literate and those who understand English. Also, due to the vast amount of information available, it is becoming hard to identify and select what is relevant that may satisfy a certain degree of credibility. The development of interfaces and components that help users to identify relevant information and then present it to them in the most appropriate manner according to the information content and their cultural and linguistic backgrounds is still lagging behind the rate of information growth. Language engineering is an endeavor in which language technologies are integrated and embedded into language-enabled services and products to support business in a global context and to facilitate interpersonal communication across languages [LINGLINK, 1997].
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