Much has been written about the influence that the Internet has on language. A midst all the dramatics ("Google sets out to save dying languages"!, "Most European Languages Unlikely to Survive Online"!), a whole new field of "Internet linguistics" has emerged.
While some languages actively battle the influences of the Internet (and of English), others are more relaxed about it. Korean appears to be one such language.
Steven Bammel's latest newsletter talks about recently wrote about how that Koreans rarely translate the words "Copyright" or "All rights reserved" in the footer of their websites. And sure enough, when checking the sample sites that he provides, all of them are 99% in Korean - except for those expressions:
- Yahoo! Korea - http://kr.yahoo.com
- Woori Bank - http://www.wooribank.com
- Emart - http://www.emart.com
- Yes24 - http://www.yes24.com
- KT - http://www.kt.com/
A month ago, he wrote about another example of the Korean language yielding to modern technology. Apparently, Koreans have taken to inserting spaces around punctuation marks. One of Steven's colleagues wonders if this "started because early Korean computer fonts (which were double-type, rather than single-byte like English) were not able to use proportional spacing and this meant the colon was shown with a little space before it and so Koreans naturally came to accept this usage."
This is all terra nova. It will be interesting to see how different languages influence (and are influenced by!) the Internet.
Before you go, be sure to check out Steven's blog. He writes regularly and on interesting topics. And here are some related articles for you to explore: