Surfing the World Wide Web, a weekly article

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Surfing the World Wide Waves (WWW)

Switzerland is among those countries with several national languages of which Italian, French and German are the best known. This splits the country into language groups with less interaction between various languages. There is another language which is heard of much less and that is Rumantch. It is a language spoken by only around 100,000 people of which 40,000 have it as a mother tongue. It is rare to find someone who can talk Rumantsch but something interesting is available.

www.rtr.ch is the website of the local radio and television for Rumantsch speaking people. It is a window for the rest of the world to see what this regional dialect sounds like. As the web makes narrow casting more interesting so broadband allows for narrow casting to reach a wider audience. If you live in Switzerland without access to the web then the only time you would have had access to Rumantch programming is by waiting till SF1 stops broadcasting. Now anyone can access this channel at anytime providing more exposure to the language.

I am sure that with time we will find that more and more enthusiasts will take the world wide web and use it as a tool to learn new languages, do language studies and more.As some people complain about globalisation so the opposite is really happened, especially with broadband web access and digital broadcasting. The audience for the European Broadcasting union is 650 million viewers in Europe. The audience on the web is theoretically the world if we forget about the digital divide between technological countries and non technological countries.

 


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