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Spanish web: Speak up! Spanish content is lagging, or so we´re told

Spanish is the third top spoken language in the World, yet a recent Accenture study found that the fact is no indication of it´s performance online.

Lets look at the numbers

Internet growth in Latin America and Spain just last year was 337% and 375% respectively, yet Internet penetration is still below the European average (38% in Spain and 49% in Europe).

But it´s not only the Internet penetration that´s the problem. The ratio of websites in Spanish per user, is far lower than the ratio for English (1.47), French (1.25) and German (1.23). Spanish´s ratio is less than half of German´s, at .58. So it seems in this case, it´s not really the Internet penetration that´s the problem. Somehow the Spanish Internet just doesn´t produce the same amount of content.

Why? And does this make any sense?

Reading an entirely different report, The 13th NetObserver Report by Novartis (pdf), it appers that Spain leads, the UK, Germany and France in the use of new communications Technologies, including podcasts, instant messaging, email and BLOGS.

But that´s just Spain. What about Latin America and the U.S. hispanic population, clearly and important piece of the pie? AOL´s Latino 2006 Hispanic Study found that: “81% of Hispanics online are mostly acculturated or partially acculturated, while only 19% is relatively unacculturated. While acculturated online Hispanics tend to prefer online content in English, nearly 40% of them still find Spanish content appealing; of the unacculturated segment 37% prefer both languages. Of the total Hispanic online population, only 15% prefer Spanish only.” These numbers correspond to 16 million hispanic users online. If 80% of these users prefer content mostly in English, mustn´t they also prefer to produce content in English as well?

Still, a ratio of .58 for the Spanish language seems much too low. It´s difficult to have an objective opinion, while living and working in Spain and swimming in Spanish content. Are the numbers skewed? And if not, what´s the weakness?

Leave your impressions.


El País
Hispanic Business

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