The internet is rapidly expanding around the world, with thousands of non-English web pages being added daily.
The number of non-English websites is expected to grow as the web opens up to more people across the world and domain names expand to include native character sets.
In late 2009, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved the creation of internet addresses containing non-Latin characters.
The web provides billions of people with information, across a range of different languages. According to Internet World Stats (http://www.internetworldstats.com) in September 2009, the total number of English internet users made up only 27.6 percent of internet users around the world. Chinese language users followed closely behind with 22.1 percent.
Internet users speaking Spanish, Japanese, French, Portuguese, German, Arabic, Russian and Korean were in the top ten most used languages on the web.
Google introduced a new beta version of their Chrome web browser for Windows users on March 1 hoping to bridge the widening internet language gap and "make the world's information universally accessible in an easy, frictionless way."
"The Google Chrome team is excited to introduce a new beta feature to help our users navigate the multilingual web: instant machine translation of webpages, without the need for any browser extensions or plug-ins," announced Wieland Holfelder, Engineering Director, Google Munich on the Google Chrome Blog on March 1.
Chrome's automatic translation means that when you are looking for products or services found on websites that are not in your native language you can forego searching for a web translation engine to translate the text.
"When the language of the webpage you're viewing is different from your preferred language setting, Chrome will display a prompt asking if you'd like the page to be translated for you using Google Translate," explained Google's text..
Google's automated translation service is far from perfect, but it will provide you with a general gist of what's written on the page. It makes navigating through multiple foreign websites much less of a hassle.
Mozilla also offers a number of third-party translation plug-ins for their Firefox web browser. Consumers can add one of many plug-ins that let you translate web pages into multiple languages with a simple click.
The newest Chrome beta release also features enhanced privacy browsing so you can surf the web without leaving a trail of visited websites in your computer's history.