L5 Title

6. PERSPECTIVES FOR FOLLOW-UP OBSERVATIONS

The logistical conditions are now in place for a real-time and frequent continuation of this study. The automation of the process for obtaining the results makes the capture and interpretation of the data easier. We are able to maintain an observatory on the evolution of the presence of the studied languages, taking measurements every 3 or 6 months.

Putting this observatory into place demands that we stay aware of what is happening in the domain of search engines, to be able to determine if changes in a search engine's procedures disqualify it from the study or, on the other hand, a new search engine may be used for the study. Each modification to a search engine's interface means that a change is also needed in the programming of the software for the automatic measurements.

It is possible that this study is enlarged to include other languages starting with all those languages spoken within the European Union. Although this would not involve a higher workload as regards the capturing of results, it would require a considerable linguistic effort. The difficulties encountered within the L5 study to arrive at the final results for German illustrate this. In effect, the inclusion of German terms was done without any radical change to the linguistic methodology being made, giving approximate and difficult to use results.

It would also be interesting to start making measurements to know the behaviour of languages which represent the strong cultural communities within Europe, such as Catalan, Breton or Basque.

Of course, it would be desirable to start measuring non-European languages, such as, for example, Quechua in Latin America and Wolof in Africa. New linguistic partnerships will probably be needed and we are ready to consider any propositions put forward.

It also remains to continue the more subjective work, initiated in the first studies, on the weightings of cultures on the Web. The experience gained from automation will be, without doubt, useful.

Finally, our approach can equally permit the initiation of transversal studies to differentiate the segments of linguistic penetration on the Web (such as, for example, tourism, ecommerce or education).

The pistes are open, all that remains is to find partners and financial support...

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