Many of the most popular languages translated online will probably not come as much of a surprise to most people. But what may not be so obvious is the reason why some of these languages are so popular. Those reasons vary wildly: some languages are widely used for international business; some are more commonly used online due to the number of speakers actively engaged in using the Internet; others may be increasingly popular because of the sheer number of native speakers. Whatever the reason may be, what follows is a list of some of the most popular languages translated online:
English remains the most common language used over the Internet, with approximately 985 million people regularly speaking and writing the language online. It’s important to remember that the US isn’t the only reason for this. Many other countries also claim English as their native language, and many of those countries are leaders in business and industry, including Great Britain, Australia and portions of India, for example. In addition, English is widely used as a standard in business communications for other countries around the globe.
Also among the most commonly translated languages online is Chinese. This may not be a surprise, considering the sheer number of native speakers, but there is another very important reason as well: the Chinese economy has undergone extraordinary growth over the past several decades. As of 2017, it is the world’s largest economy, second only to the US.
Spanish is one of the most commonly translated languages online, and with good reason: counting all countries that claim Spanish as their native language (including Spain, Mexico, and numerous countries in Central and South America, just to name a few), there are an estimated 414 million Spanish speakers as of 2017; many of whom reside right here in the US. This trend is likely to continue as the population of Spanish-speaking people continues to increase.
Russian is also included in our list of the most commonly translated languages, due in part to the size of the country and the number of native speakers, but also due to its growing economy and increasing importance in trade and international business.
With an estimated 295 million speakers as of 2017 and 27 countries that claim it as their native language – not to mention the growing international business interests in the Middle East – it’s probably not surprising that Arabic is also included in our list.
Although we’ve discussed some of the most commonly translated languages, there are others that are growing in their online use as well, including Japanese, Indonesian, French and German. If you are conducting business in any of these languages, you should take heart in knowing that finding high quality translation services is much easier than for some other, lesser-used languages. And if you’re a translator, you should also take note — if you are interested in expanding your linguistic skills in the future, you may want to add some of these languages to your repertoire.