Spanish Speakers Not Served by the Internet

Spanish Speakers Not Served by the Internet

Language is an added obstacle to finding credible sites and reliable information on the Web


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NEW YORK, Aug. 6 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — A good Web site is hard to find: Surveys consistently show that most Internet users have difficulty finding and evaluating credible sources of information. This holds especially true for non-English speakers. Though the Internet is a global phenomenon, U.S.-based, English-only Web sites remain the most popular destinations for Internet users from all over the world. Users whose native tongue is not English have a particularly hard time evaluating the credibility of these Web sites.

In the United States, language barriers contribute to a troubling digital divide. Surveys report that approximately half of native Spanish-speaking Americans use the Web, versus as much as 80% of other ethnic groups. (1)

While many factors contribute to this digital divide, Juan Tornoe, publisher of HispanicTrending.net, a Latino marketing and advertising blog (2), points to a, “dearth of online content that speaks to bilingual and Spanish-dominant Hispanics. They either can’t find it, or it’s so bad that they’d rather use English-language sites.” Although many Spanish-speaking Web users do the best they can with English-language sites, “even Hispanic Internet users who are completely comfortable accessing English-language content may prefer to read explanatory information in Spanish,” says Mr. Tornoe.

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, the new

Spanish-language Web site that offers topic-specific guides to reliable sites and information on the Web. Gutierrez-Folch continued, “The Web is a big part of the library of the future, and Spanish speakers must be able to use it.”

EncontrandoDulcinea, which launches on August 6, 2008, will appeal to Spanish-speaking Internet users who read online content in both English and Spanish. The site will launch with more than 20 Spanish-language guides to the best Web sites-either in English or Spanish-about a particular topic. New guides will be added to the site every week.

“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,” said Gutierrez-Folch.

About encontrandoDulcinea

EncontrandoDulcinea is an offspring of findingDulcinea, a widely acclaimed, human-powered search alternative that is the best place to start Internet research on any subject. FindingDulcinea’s 500 Web Guides offer narrated, topic-specific tours of hand-selected, credible Web sites, with insights and research strategies to help readers find just what they’re searching for. EncontrandoDulcinea is the first in a series of

foreign-language Web sites that findingDulcinea will publish.

To visit encontrandoDulcinea go to

http://www.encontrandoDulcinea.com

To visit findingDulcinea go to

http://www.findingDulcinea.com

Source Links:

(1) eMarketer: US Hispanics Online, July 2008 [http://www.emarketer.com/Reports/All/Emarketer_2000514.aspx?src=report1_home]

(2) The Cost of Leaving Hispanics Lost in Translation, Juan Tornoe, Grokdotcom, February 14, 2008

[http://www.grokdotcom.com/2008/02/14/latinos-lost-in-translation-online/]

English speaking:

Sushene Leitch

Sushene.Leitch@DulcineaMedia.com

http://www.findingdulcinea.com/employees/management/sushene-s-leitch.html

Spanish speaking:

Anita Gutierrez-Folch

Anita.Gf@DulcineaMedia.com

http://www.findingdulcinea.com/employees/editorial/freelance/anita-gutierrez-folch.html

Isabel Cowles

Isabel.Cowles@DulcineaMedia.com

http://www.findingdulcinea.com/employees/editorial/isabel-cowles.html

Phone 212.685.7307

Spanish Speakers Not Served by the Internet