There are approximately 6,000 languages spoken in the world; of these UNESCO believes that over half will disappear by the end of this century. Two thirds of the world’s languages are spoken by less than 20,000 people. Minority Languages are spoken all over the world, and the internet is becoming increasingly multilingual.
But do speakers of such minority languages actually use them on social media? What are the ways in which social media can benefit these languages? Can memes indicate language health? How do minority languages compete when scale and global reach is so much of a factor in social media’s appeal? And why use a minority language online when it’s just easier to communicate in English, Spanish or Mandarin?
This panel will try to unpick the relationship between social media and languages, from the perspective of developers, content producers and language technologists, and question whether online technologies are a boon or a disaster for minority languages.
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