More businesses are going global everyday day and are realizing the importance of effective translation and localization of their content. However, the fact is that over 6,500 languages are being spoken around the world, making it impracticable to work with every single one. Therefore, the problem for marketers is to decide which languages are the most important for their international business. This challenge can more easily be met when you realize that there are a few languages spoken by large numbers of people. Translating and localizing your website and its content into one or more of these languages will enable you to tap into the largest and most responsive markets. So, without further ado, here are the top 10 languages to consider when localizing your website.
English is the most universally spoken language in the world, it’s no surprise this is one of the top 10 languages. Apart from the 67 English speaking nations, 27 other countries use English as their official business language. Additionally, the number of internet users who consume online content exclusively in English stands at over 25%.
After English, Chinese has one of the highest user bases in the world. In fact, some research suggests that Mandarin Chinese is the world’s fastest-growing language. Over 19.8% of internet users speak and write in Chinese – both the simplified and traditional versions.
You might think that Spanish is spoken primarily in Latin America (and some parts of North America). However, you may be surprised to learn that Spanish has seen a massive resurgence in usage. Today, over 750 million people in the world use Spanish as their primary language in their personal and professional lives. Moreover, 7.6% of all internet users are native Spanish speakers, and 4.6% look exclusively for Spanish content.
As one of the largest and most populous countries in the world, India has become a massive (and lucrative) market for global brands. While the country does not have an official national language, Hindi is the unofficial primary language for communication in many states. India is a vast country with many languages, but over 43% of the population regards Hindi as their mother tongue.
About 6.4% of all content on the net is in Russian, and about 260 million people are currently consuming Russian content online. Russian is a key language, especially if you’re in the gaming industry. The gaming sector is growing at a tremendous pace (almost 5.2% year over year), and localizing your gaming website and app in this language will get you a substantial chunk of this profitable market.
Just a few years ago, Arabic had the least amount of representation on the internet. But times have changed, and today Arabic is one of the most critical languages for website localization. Over 5% of all internet users use Arabic as a primary language. This adds up to over 141 million Arabic internet users in 2017, and the number keeps on growing. With your website translated into Arabic and localized for specific Arabic-speaking countries, you can target not only the Middle East but also a large part of Africa.
The Latin American region has become a significant contributor to the global economy, and Portuguese has become very important for today’s globalization strategies. About 4.1% of all internet users actively communicate in Portuguese.
Indonesia and Malaysia are experiencing higher mobile penetration and internet connectivity with a correspondent increase in people looking for content in Malay. Over 274 million people speak Bahasa/Malay, while 2.9% of web surfers browse exclusively in the Malay language.
Just like English and Chinese, French is another language that is widely used around the world. Over 29 countries use French as their official and primary language. Tapping into these countries requires you to translate and localize your website and apps into French.
Finally, there is German, which is the 10th most widely spoken language in the world. 5.6% of all internet content online is in German and caters to the 79 million German-speaking people. Six countries use German as their primary language.
How Can Localize Help with the top 10 languages?
At Localize, our translation and localization platform supports hundreds of language pairs and can help you get your website ready for the world market. Visit our website for more information on how we can assist your business to translate and localize your content for international success.