In a globalized world, “global languages” have come increasingly to the fore, often at the expense of smaller, regional tongues and dialects. Of all the world’s languages — around 7,000, by best estimates — only a few hundred are represented online, and a very small number predominate. English — long dubbed the “language of business” and latterly known as the lingua franca of the web — has seen its influence diminish, but it is still thought to account for 30 to 40 percent of all webpages on the internet. Mandarin has been steadily growing in its online presence, which impacts upon its offline influence, too; so have fellow linguistic…

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