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Non-English Speakers: How is non-western internet different?

Seems like much of the internet has been homogenized by English speakers from western nations, and there are certainly some apps/communities that are different and unique from different places (think Telegram from Russia) and I was curious about others, and lesser known ones that members of the community here may be able to speak to?  While they may also use the western parts of the internet, for legal, cultural or language reasons, there may be different and interesting pockets of the internet that english speakers are unaware of.

What is the local internet experience like elsewhere?

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Do you want to know about non-western internet exclusively (also please specify, what you mean by that) or any non english pockets of the internet?

 

For example, i am German and the German speaking part of the internet is one of the biggest. But i would absolutely consider it part of the western internet. Also the experience you can have in it is as varied as is in the english versions. But one thing, so far, is very nice for me, different languages can make narrowing down a search to a certain region a little easier.

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Just now, Heats with Nvidia said:

Do you want to know about non-western internet exclusively (also please specify, what you mean by that) or any nin english pockets of the internet?

 

For example, i am German and the German speaking part of the internet is one of the biggest, but i would absolutely consider it part of the western internet. Also the experience you can have in it is as varied as is in the english versions. But one thing, so far, is very nice for me, different languages can make narrowing down a search to a certain region a little easier.

Oh, yes Germany if it's different would absolutely interesting.  I guess the english and western cultural hegemony I am referring to would be more accurately described as anglo western. 

 

Anything that isn't the dominate english/american/anglo/western Internet that is unique, especially parts that are uniquely superior.

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Denmark is pretty unexciting in this aspect. We are a small language, so it's rare that we get something specific for us. We mostly just use English applications. 

Of course we have local sites in Danish and Danish stores and services. 

 

From what I hear is the biggest difference compared to the US that we have a central online portal for most citizen-government interaction, as well as our online tax homepage where we can log in in the spring and see if the government have entered correct information in our tax forms (its a bit more advanced if you are a business owner, but as a private citizen, you just have to make sure that they have applied your transportation deductibles

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23 minutes ago, DeerDK said:

Denmark is pretty unexciting in this aspect. We are a small language, so it's rare that we get something specific for us. We mostly just use English applications. 

Of course we have local sites in Danish and Danish stores and services. 

 

From what I hear is the biggest difference compared to the US that we have a central online portal for most citizen-government interaction, as well as our online tax homepage where we can log in in the spring and see if the government have entered correct information in our tax forms (its a bit more advanced if you are a business owner, but as a private citizen, you just have to make sure that they have applied your transportation deductibles

Yes, scale is important.  Also it seems like typography is also a big one, if your character set is unique it may also play a role.  Many Asian cultures seem to have their own tech (China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan...) bubbles.

The advance of government digital infrastructure is also interesting, Denmark sounds a bit like Estonia in that regard.  I have often thought there should be an OSS stack for governments.

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14 hours ago, ToboRobot said:

Seems like much of the internet has been homogenized by English speakers from western nations,

If you want "real" English then go east, east to the date line where we speak proper English, not American which is a different language with different spelling.

 

There might be a Scots and Irish influence too. OK, close to the Greenwich time line they do also speak "proper" English.

 

That also means we are further east than China, Japan and much further east than India.

 

Internet? Of course we have internet and we are designing, building and putting up rockets for more connectivity. The latest went up last week.

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2 hours ago, RollyShed said:

If you want "real" English then go east, east to the date line where we speak proper English, not American which is a different language with different spelling.

 

12 hours ago, ToboRobot said:

Yes, scale is important.  Also it seems like typography is also a big one, if your character set is unique it may also play a role.  Many Asian cultures seem to have their own tech (China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan...) bubbles.

their softwares are all written in ah... Americanish programming languages. you will see things like int sum = num1 + num2; in the code regardless of whatever country/language/culture. what you wont see is things like 整数 总数 = 数一 + 数二; This means much of the foreign internet can still be understood somewhat if you are technically savvy. 

Sudo make me a sandwich 

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99% of the Spanish-speaking internet is just a poorly translated version of the English-speaking internet.

 

Yes, down to the news. And nobody hires proof-readers or edits anything anymore. 

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the leaps and bounds you're taking to get "english speakers = all western countries" is frankly astonishing. 

 

i can guarantee you most internet conversations in germany, italy, france, etc, etc, are *not* in english... 

 

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On 6/23/2024 at 2:06 PM, ToboRobot said:

What is the local internet experience like elsewhere?

Terrible.  i only use English language sites and apps for that reason.  

 

Spoiler

^ actually not true, Japanese and Chinese sites and sometimes apps are also very good! 

 

The direction tells you... the direction

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Softwares used:

Corsair Link (Anime Edition) 

MSI Afterburner 

OpenRGB

Lively Wallpaper 

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Audacity 

VLC

WMP

GIMP

HWiNFO64

Paint

3D Paint

GitHub Desktop 

Superposition 

Prime95

Aida64

GPUZ

CPUZ

Generic Logviewer

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Mark Kaine said:

the leaps and bounds you're taking to get "english speakers = all western countries" is frankly astonishing. 

 

i can guarantee you most internet conversations in germany, italy, france, etc, etc, are *not* in english... 

 

I am not at all making that statement, I am describing the overlap of the communities, because the "internet" is American centric with lesser contributions from Canada, UK, Australia and other western european nations, from the birth of the internet and computers.  I don't think that English speakers are automatically from western countries, I am describing a large collection of people that have a common internet culture largely because they share a language, and then saying I want to understand the group I am not a part of better.

I am specially asking about the internet culture of people like Germans, Italians, and French in their own languages, because as a primarily English speaker, most of the internet is naturally accessible to me and thus I am largely unaware of the pockets of the internet I don't participate in. 

Perhaps there is a barrier in communication in language here.

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Germany has a pretty big bubble of German-specific internet content, and since German/English translation is pretty straightforward, auto-translators are very effective for people who don't speak English.

 

Since I'm fluent in both, I have no problems using the "Western" Internet as a whole. And if I ever need a website that isn't available in either language, I usually use Edge's built-in translation feature and let it translate into English. I have no idea why, but especially Asian content usually translates better into English than into German.

If someone did not use reason to reach their conclusion in the first place, you cannot use reason to convince them otherwise.

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Being in an foreign language school meant I spent most of my internet time on foreign sites while living in Hong Kong. Was really frustrating then when a lot of services required a US registration. These days its split culturally between traditional Chinese and simplified chinese sites. A person is likely only going to browse through one set. 

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1 hour ago, williamcll said:

Being in an foreign language school meant I spent most of my internet time on foreign sites while living in Hong Kong. Was really frustrating then when a lot of services required a US registration. These days its split culturally between traditional Chinese and simplified chinese sites. A person is likely only going to browse through one set. 

How are mandarin and Cantonese used online? Is there a big split or do most sites work with both?

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1 hour ago, williamcll said:

Being in an foreign language school meant I spent most of my internet time on foreign sites while living in Hong Kong. Was really frustrating then when a lot of services required a US registration. These days its split culturally between traditional Chinese and simplified chinese sites. A person is likely only going to browse through one set. 

I always wondered - how are chinese (mandarin) characters typed on regular keyboard. How is it possible to type chinese or mandarin on latin keyboard? Or are the keyboards different? Or should I ask somewhere else?

I edit my posts more often than not

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the internet translate for w/e language to your langue so...

if your talking about say west vs eu vs china ya there are different so called grupes

how to access thow i dont no. most likely need a vpn. i guess you would need no no the website address or browser? 🤷‍♂️

I have dyslexia plz be kind to me. dont like my post dont read it or respond thx

also i edit post alot because you no why...

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I speak two other languages other than English -- and I simply don't bother with those parts of the Internet. In hindsight, English took over those languages as my dominant language as I always stayed on the English side...

 

1 hour ago, Tan3l6 said:

I always wondered - how are chinese (mandarin) characters typed on regular keyboard. How is it possible to type chinese or mandarin on latin keyboard? Or are the keyboards different? Or should I ask somewhere else?

To write in Chinese (and by extension Japanese), an IME is commonly used: https://www.google.com/inputtools/services/features/input-method.html

You write down the words you want phonetically using Latin letters, and you choose the characters that pop up which match what you write.

🙂

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11 hours ago, ToboRobot said:

How are mandarin and Cantonese used online? Is there a big split or do most sites work with both?

Cantonese is mostly used in Hong Kong sites whereas Mandarin in Mainland/taiwanese sites. Users are mostly split, with the exception being social network sites.

 

 

11 hours ago, Tan3l6 said:

I always wondered - how are chinese (mandarin) characters typed on regular keyboard. How is it possible to type chinese or mandarin on latin keyboard? Or are the keyboards different? Or should I ask somewhere else?

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, ToboRobot said:

How are mandarin and Cantonese used online? Is there a big split or do most sites work with both?

there is no such thing as written Cantonese. all the sintic languages share one single writing system. The characters represent ideas, verbs, and objects, not sound. anything that uses Chinese characters as phonetic representations is not standard written Chinese. these apply to other languages that utilize Chinese characters to a certain degree such as Japanese. it works because again, they represent ideas, verbs, and objects, not sounds/pronunciations.

 

with that said, Chinese characters did evolve throughout the centuries, albeit a lot less compared to other written languages over the same time span. the most recent change was the introduction of simplified characters. the two (simplified/traditional)are still so similar that they are mutually intelligible.

 

if you don't believe me, go on to this Reddit sub

You will sometimes see posts in traditional characters respond to posts in simplified characters and vice versa. these people all understood one another. 

 

Btw, the biggest region of Cantonese speakers is the Canton province plus various diaspora communities of Cantonese speakers abroad. 

 

Edit: Never mind, written Cantonese is a thing but as I said, it differs in that it uses many characters as phonetic representations that differ from vernacular Chinese due to dialect differences. 

Sudo make me a sandwich 

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I am Swedish so I sometimes browse some Swedish sites, but I guess that's still considered "western". 

 

I have also browsers a lot of Japanese websites however. I know some Japanese and have done quite a bit of fan translation for various manga. 

Not really sure what you're after though. The Internet culture in Japan (and Sweden for that matter) isn't really that different from English websites. Japan uses a lot of X (Twitter) and have some of their own memes, but the same can be said for basically any country. 

 

I don't really understand what kind of answer you expect. 

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I am from Bulgaria, we use the Cyrillic alphabet (after all it's us who invented it) and the late 90s and early 2000s were a weird time for anyone who didn't speak English. Most software products didn't have support for Bulgarian language Cyrilic characters at all and A LOT of mainly older people resolved to paying us youngsters to translate stuff for them. The thing that defined a whole generation (mine as a millennial) is the writing in Bulgarian with the English alphabet mainly in mIRC, but also i games which didn't support Cyrilic alphabet. We called that "маймуница" where it would be written as "maimunica", roughly translating to "monkey-alphabet". A collection of Latin letters, which looked gibberish to anyone speaking English or some other western language, but were almost natural to us. For a brief period of time it was also a great way to cheat in school, because we would write in that abomination everything we might need in the tests, hide it in plain eyesight and the teachers would have no idea what were they looking at. Extremely interesting times. 

 

Now days, most of the apps support the Cyrilic alphabet, but my generation generally prefers to have everything in English, because it's much easier for us to navigate. Most of our local people who navigate the internet space, speak, write or understand English to a certain degree, even if they browse entirely Bulgarian sites and forums only. In the forums in our country it is mandatory to write in Bulgarian with the Cyrilic alphabet. If you try to write in English or the forementioned abomination, the mods instantly remove you post/thread. But those are a dying breed as well, because people start joining on more massive and world-wide popular forums. For example i don't browse our local hardware forums anymore, i browse LTT and GN. We follow the world-wide industry standard leaders, instead of the small local specialists. The exception to this is of course gsmarena, but well... they are the industry standard for phone benchmarking and are no longer local specialist, but a global leader. So we follow them and we read their reviews in English, despite them still being based in Sofia, Bulgaria.

 

As for local apps, we don't have that. We stick to the global leaders. We have a small number of Bulgarian-specific content creators, but with our country being so small and their audience so tiny, they hardly make any money except pocket change. I mean in my channel i have a video that 2 years ago somehow exploded from 3000 views to 1.4mil. If i was to monetize that, with the rates for my country i would've gotten around €600 (if any at all cause it's age-restricted), which is nowhere near enough to turn content creation into a viable way of living. But that was a fluke anyone and i somehow rode the perfect hype wave for SGWC2 at that time. Most of our local content creators are extremely happy if they get even 1/10th of that views on their videos, which for them is extremely huge number.

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On 6/27/2024 at 3:11 AM, wasab said:

there is no such thing as written Cantonese. all the sintic languages share one single writing system. The characters represent ideas, verbs, and objects, not sound. anything that uses Chinese characters as phonetic representations is not standard written Chinese. these apply to other languages that utilize Chinese characters to a certain degree such as Japanese. it works because again, they represent ideas, verbs, and objects, not sounds/pronunciations.

 

with that said, Chinese characters did evolve throughout the centuries, albeit a lot less compared to other written languages over the same time span. the most recent change was the introduction of simplified characters. the two (simplified/traditional)are still so similar that they are mutually intelligible.

 

if you don't believe me, go on to this Reddit sub

You will sometimes see posts in traditional characters respond to posts in simplified characters and vice versa. these people all understood one another. 

 

Btw, the biggest region of Cantonese speakers is the Canton province plus various diaspora communities of Cantonese speakers abroad. 

 

Edit: Never mind, written Cantonese is a thing but as I said, it differs in that it uses many characters as phonetic representations that differ from vernacular Chinese due to dialect differences. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Written_Cantonese

 

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2 minutes ago, ToboRobot said:

You should continue reading until you finish my entire post. Written Cantonese is using many Chinese characters as phonetic representation. 

Sudo make me a sandwich 

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2 hours ago, QuantumSingularity said:

I am from Bulgaria, we use the Cyrillic alphabet (after all it's us who invented it) and the late 90s and early 2000s were a weird time for anyone who didn't speak English. Most software products didn't have support for Bulgarian language Cyrilic characters at all and A LOT of mainly older people resolved to paying us youngsters to translate stuff for them. The thing that defined a whole generation (mine as a millennial) is the writing in Bulgarian with the English alphabet mainly in mIRC, but also i games which didn't support Cyrilic alphabet. We called that "маймуница" where it would be written as "maimunica", roughly translating to "monkey-alphabet". A collection of Latin letters, which looked gibberish to anyone speaking English or some other western language, but were almost natural to us. For a brief period of time it was also a great way to cheat in school, because we would write in that abomination everything we might need in the tests, hide it in plain eyesight and the teachers would have no idea what were they looking at. Extremely interesting times. 

 

Now days, most of the apps support the Cyrilic alphabet, but my generation generally prefers to have everything in English, because it's much easier for us to navigate. Most of our local people who navigate the internet space, speak, write or understand English to a certain degree, even if they browse entirely Bulgarian sites and forums only. In the forums in our country it is mandatory to write in Bulgarian with the Cyrilic alphabet. If you try to write in English or the forementioned abomination, the mods instantly remove you post/thread. But those are a dying breed as well, because people start joining on more massive and world-wide popular forums. For example i don't browse our local hardware forums anymore, i browse LTT and GN. We follow the world-wide industry standard leaders, instead of the small local specialists. The exception to this is of course gsmarena, but well... they are the industry standard for phone benchmarking and are no longer local specialist, but a global leader. So we follow them and we read their reviews in English, despite them still being based in Sofia, Bulgaria.

 

As for local apps, we don't have that. We stick to the global leaders. We have a small Bulgarian-specific content creators, but with our country being so small and their audience so tiny, they hardly make any money except pocket change. I mean in my channel i have a video that 2 years ago somehow exploded from 3000 views to 1.4mil. If i was to monetize that, with the rates for my country i would've gotten around €600 (if any at all cause it's age-restricted), which is nowhere near enough to turn content creation into a viable way of living. But that was a fluke anyone and i somehow rode the perfect hype wave for SGWC2 at that time. Most of our local content creators are extremely happy if they get even 1/10th of that views on their videos, which for them is extremely huge number.

This was a wonderful story to read.  As someone that was on IRC around the same time, it was such an interesting experience,  and it's very cool to hear others were doing the same things.  Thank you very much!

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4 minutes ago, wasab said:

You should continue reading until you finish my entire post. Written Cantonese is using many Chinese characters as phonetic representation. 

I see the edit, I didn't fully read your post because the first sentence was easily to prove it was inaccurate and I felt like reading the rest would be a waste of time. 

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