Language-sensitive search behaviour and the role of domain knowledge

A. Kralisch, B. Berendt
2005 New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia  
While many websites aim at a large and linguistically diversified audience, they present their information mostly in the languages of larger speakers groups. Little is known about the effect on accessibility. We investigated the influence of a site's language offer on website access and search behaviour with two studies, and studied the interaction of language offers and domain knowledge. To achieve high ecological validity, we analysed data from a multilingual site's web-server logfile and
more » ... a questionnaire posted on it, and compared the behaviour of users who accessed the site in a non-native language to that of users who accessed it in their native language. Results from 277,809 user sessions and 165 international survey participants indicate that a website's languages may strongly reduce website access by users not supplied with information in their native language. Once inside a site, non-native speakers with high domain knowledge behave similarly to native speakers. However, non-native speakers' behaviour becomes language-sensitive when they have low domain knowledge.
doi:10.1080/13614560500402775 fatcat:obohhmccjja5zby6xvhwmsvnim