Translation musings: Languages of the world (wide web)

Jun 22, 2016 | First Edition Translations, Language, Miscellaneous, Musings

website languagesThere are about 6500-7000 languages spoken in the world and according to some estimates, about half of them don’t have any written form whatsoever. And did you know that of all the languages of the world, only about 2-5% is represented online?

Although it’s impossible to give exact figures, a 2015 estimate shows that about half of the top 10 million websites are written in English. The next most popular language is Russian at 6% (!), and the third one is German (around 5.5%). Other common languages are: Japanese, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Chinese and Polish.

What is even more important and is definitely worth considering when planning your website translations is the users’ languages. You would think that the list should more or less match that of the top 10 languages websites are written in. But it doesn’t. It seems like supply and demand are not really in balance. Well, the top spot is still occupied by English (approx. 26%), however, the second place is taken by Chinese speakers (approx. 21%) and the third one is Spanish (nearly 8 %). Others in the top 10 user languages are Arabic, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, Malay, French and German.

If you are thinking about translating your website to any of these languages (or others!), just give us a shout, our experienced Project Managers will be happy to take care of your project. Drop us an email at or fill in our contact form here.