Though the internet is a global phenomenon, US-based, English-only websites remain the most popular destinations for internet users from all over the world.
A survey by eMarketer last month, found that in the US especially, language barriers contribute to a troubling digital divide.
The research reports that approximately half of native Spanish-speaking Americans use the web, versus as much as 80 per cent of other ethnic groups.
For some Spanish speakers, the lack of explanatory information in Spanish is a mere inconvenience. But for most, the adverse effects are more profound.
"Language barriers prevent too many Spanish speakers from sharing in the educational and economic opportunities that the Internet offers," said Anita Gutierrez-Folch, project manager for encontrandoDulcinea.com, a new Spanish-language website that offers topic-specific guides to reliable sites and information on the web.
"The web is a big part of the library of the future and Spanish speakers must be able to use it."
EncontrandoDulcinea, which launched this week, is designed to appeal to Spanish-speaking internet users who read online content in both English and Spanish.
The site launched with more than 20 Spanish-language guides to the best websites – either in English or Spanish – about a particular topic.
"For the many Spanish-speakers who have yet to conquer the internet frontier, encontrandoDulcinea is a guided tour, in their first language, to the best content that the web has to offer," added Gutierrez-Folch.
Spanish speakers struggle to find web content
By Clement James on Aug 8, 2008 7:39AM