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The most popular online languages 2018

By Josian Phillips, 

Which languages should you support on your website, social media and online advertising?

This is a big question for businesses in our ever-growing, global marketplace – not helped by the uncertainty many leaders are feeling about the market shifts that Brexit may bring. In terms of translation services, maybe you’re wondering if you should invest more in Asian language translation or more in European languages. To help you gain a fresh, global perspective, here’s an infographic on the most popular online languages in 2018.

Internet language stats

This infographic is based on data from Neilsen Online, International Telecommunications Union and GfK, compiled throughout the year by Internet World Stats. The top 10 languages account for 77% of all languages used online. It’s interesting to note that all six official languages of the UN (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish) are included here.

As you can see, English tops the leader board with one in four (25%) Internet users speaking English. Which means that 75% of internet users don’t use English. So what other languages are they using? Chinese follows swiftly behind English, with nearly a fifth (19%) of all Internet users speaking Chinese. Third in the race is Spanish, at 8%. Arabic comes in at 5% – which by the way is a massive 8,616% increase since the year 2000, compared to a more modest 650% increase in English usage within the same timeframe.

According to research from Byte Level (as mentioned in an earlier blog, Website translation: 7 best practice lessons), leading global brands today support an average of 30 languages. The majority of corporate websites, however, support fewer than 10 languages.

Hopefully this has helped steer your thoughts a bit. If you need any advice on your company’s online translation strategy or would like to find out more about our translation services, please get in touch. You can contact us on 01225 580 770 or via our online form.

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