The European Commission recently conducted a study about the languages preferred by European internet users. The results of the Eurobarometer study strongly underline the need for sophisticated multilingual language technologies:
While 90% of Internet surfers in the EU prefer to access websites in their own language, 55% at least occasionally use a language other than their own when online. However, 44% of European Internet users feel they are missing interesting information because web pages are not in a language that they understand and only 18% buy products online in a foreign language. The results underline the need for investment in online translation tools so that EU Internet users are not excluded from finding information or products online because they lack the language skills.
Neelie Kroes, EC Vice President for the Digital Agenda, said "If we are serious about making every European digital, we need to make sure that they can understand the web content they want."
The Eurobarometer study press release (including links to versions in other languages)