The Observatory of Languages and Cultures in the Internet was born in 1996 at FUNREDES and continued until today. In association with Union Latine, until 2005, then in association with the World Network for Linguistic Diversity, MAAYA, from 2009. Two people have supported the project since its inception: Daniel Pimienta, President of FUNREDES and member of the Executive Board of MAAYA since 2009 (Executive Secretary in 2015-2016) and Daniel Prado, former Director of the Department of Language Industries, Union Latine (1997-2008) and member of the Executive Board of MAAYA since 2009 (Executive Secretary in 2013-2014). The Observatory has beneficiated, at different times, directly or indirectly via Union Latina or MAAYA, of the support of OIF, UNESCO and DGLFLF. Since 2017, FUNREDES has ceased its activities and Daniel Pimienta is managing the observatory on his own. In January 2021, the observatory, which remains a global project, recovers formal existence in France, as a 1901 law association.
The construction of the site of the observatory responds to three periods which each have a history and a substructure of their own:
- the initial period 1997-2005, which presents the results and methods of a series of measurements of the place of Latin languages, English and German on the web, based on an original methodology based on the counting of a sample of keywords from the search engines and which is amply documented. The original website of this period is preserved and searchable online in its original structure, which gives access to 10 studies scaled in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001 and 2005. Goto 1997-2005.
- a consecutive period 2006-2008, which gradually sees the decline of the method following the changes that marks the Internet and concerns the size of the web and the modus operandi of the search engines. In this period an effort is made to gather sources of information around the subject. The original website of this period has been lost and a link is established to the archive.org site which has retained the complete trace, until we reconstructed it. Goto 2006-2008.
- the last period since 2009, marked by the abandonment of the initial methodology and the search for new ways to achieve the objective, either by a very ambitious collaborative research project which sought the support of the research programs of the European Union (DILINET), or by practical studies which have adopted new approaches taking account of the evolution of the web and which have been applied mainly to French as well as Spanish and languages of France before to be generalized in 2017 to the 140 languages of more than 5 million speakers.
Goto last period from 2009
HIGHLIGHTS OF EVENTS POST 2017
April 2023 : New measurement and promising findings for African languages check RESULTS page
August 2022 : New measurement and set-up of a page with chronological RESULTS
August 2022 : Publication "A brief history of the observation of languages in the Internet": FR, ES, PPT.ES, VIDEO.ES
November 2021: Hyderabab Declaration on Emerging Technologies and Changing Dynamics of Information
October 2021: The Observatory is now member of the UNESCO Chair on Language Policies for Multilingualism
August 2021 : Results of the new measurement campaign for indicators of presence of languages in the Net
June 2021 : The Observatory is awarded a subvention from DGLFLF for the expenses of hosting and domains of its website and BaseLDF site.