Have you ever looked up what language’s top list of the most spoken languages in the world for translation? The more a language is used, the more often the language is translated.
This information is necessary for you multilingual website developers to know. Because later there will be many audiences from various countries with different languages, now your job is to facilitate them so that they can translate your content based on their own language.
This time we will summarize the top 10 list of the most used languages for translation. This list is based on the number of speakers who use the language from the Ethnologue. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the top languages spoken in the world for translation, and explore why they are important for website developers.
Most spoken language #1 English
Native speakers: 379+ million
Total speakers: 1,4+ billion
The most used first language is English. We all certainly agree that English has the most speakers in the world because it is an international language that is used everywhere.
There are more than 1.4 million English speakers in total. By adding this language to your site’s translation options, you will bring many benefits, including:
- Increased global reach: English is the most commonly used language on the internet, so translating a website into English can help reach a larger audience.
- Improved credibility: English is the language of international business, so having a website in English can give a business or organization a more professional and credible image.
- Enhanced customer satisfaction: Providing content in English can make it easier for non-native speakers to navigate a website and find the information they need, which can lead to greater customer satisfaction.
Most spoken language #2 Chinese (Mandarin)
Native speakers: 939+ million
Total speakers: 1,1+ billion
The second language is widely used in the world, especially for business purposes. When viewed from the number of native speakers, Mandarin is the first in the world.
This language is suitable for those of you who want to learn a lot of foreign languages because many companies and businesses are looking for people who can speak Mandarin. Likewise, for web developers, you need to add this language to your site.
So that if Chinese speakers visit your site, they can read your content clearly.
Most spoken language #3 Hindi
Native speakers: 344+ million
Total speakers: 602+ million
Hindi is the number 1 national language in India, it ranks 3rd in the list of the most used languages in the world for translation. Native speakers of Hindi are not as many as Mandarin and English, but the total number of speakers of this language from various countries is quite a lot, namely more than 602 million people.
Firstly, it can help reach out to the vast Hindi-speaking audience, which is not only limited to India but also includes countries where Hindi is spoken as a second language.
This can help increase the visibility of the website and attract more traffic. Additionally, it can help build a connection with the audience and increase their engagement with the content. It can also be beneficial for businesses and organizations that operate in India, as it can help build trust and credibility with the local audience.
Most spoken language #4 Spanish
Native speakers: 485+ million
Total speakers: 559+ million
Fourth on the list of the world’s most used languages for translation is Spanish. According to Ethnologue, the total number of Spanish speakers is 559 million.
There are several reasons why Spanish is considered an important global language. Firstly, it is the official language in 21 countries, including Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, and Peru, among others. It is also an official language in the United Nations, the European Union, and other international organizations.
Translating a website into Spanish can also help improve its SEO (Search Engine Optimization) rankings. This is because Spanish is a highly-searched language, and by including Spanish keywords and phrases on a website, businesses can increase their chances of appearing in search results for Spanish-speaking users.
Most spoken language #5 Arabic
Total speakers: 372+ million
Fifth on the top list of the world’s most used languages for translation is Arabic. With a total of more than 370 million speakers, Arabic is worth adding to your multilingual site’s translation options.
Translating a website into Arabic can bring numerous benefits. First, it can significantly increase the website’s reach and audience, as Arabic is a widely spoken language.
Second, translating a website into Arabic can enhance customer engagement and improve the user experience. Third, translating a website into Arabic can help establish a strong brand presence and credibility in the Arab world. It shows that a business or organization is committed to serving Arabic speakers and understands their needs and preferences.
Most spoken language #6 French
Native speakers: 80,7+ million
Total speakers: 309+ million
The next language that is widely used in the world for translation is French. The number of speakers of this language worldwide is quite large, namely more than 309 million users. Therefore you need to add this language in the multilingual site.
Translating a website into French can provide several benefits, especially for businesses that are looking to expand their global reach. Firstly, it allows businesses to reach a wider audience. By providing content in French, businesses can attract French-speaking customers who may not speak English or prefer to browse in their native language. This can lead to increased engagement and conversion rates, as customers are more likely to engage with content that they can understand.
Most spoken language #7 Bengali
Native speakers: 233,8+ million
Total speakers: 272,8+ million
You might not expect that Bengali is one of the top 10 most spoken languages lists. Bengali is the official language of Bangladesh and is also spoken in parts of India and Burma. Considering the population density of the area, it made sense.
Translating a website into Bengali can have numerous benefits, such as expanding a business’s reach to Bengali-speaking customers and improving user engagement. By making a website accessible in Bengali, businesses can tap into a vast market of potential customers who prefer to browse and shop in their native language. It can also help to improve the website’s search engine optimization (SEO) by increasing its visibility in Bengali-speaking regions.
Most spoken language #8 Portuguese
Native speakers: 236,2+ million
Total speakers: 263,6+ million
At present, Portuguese it is the official language of nine countries in Asia, Africa, South America, and Europe. The most extensive among these countries is Brazil, which also has the most Portuguese speakers. With its vast population, Portuguese is currently the most spoken language in the Southern Hemisphere.
That way, you can add Portuguese in your site’s translation options so that visitors from these language-speaking countries can understand your content.
Most spoken language #9 Russian
Native speakers: 146,9+ million
Total speakers: 254,9+ million
In 9th place is the Russian language, which now has a total of 254.9 million speakers. This language is the most widely used considering that Russia is the largest country in the world by area, therefore it is not surprising that there are also many speakers of this language. In addition, the Russian language is also spoken in 19 states of Russia.
Russia is the largest country in the world by land area, and it is rich in natural resources. The country has a strong economy, with several large corporations and many emerging businesses. Being able to communicate in Russian can open up numerous opportunities for businesses to tap into this market.
If you own a website business, translating a website into Russian can give you a competitive advantage over other businesses that haven’t translated their website into this language. This can give businesses an edge in markets where Russian is widely spoken.
Most spoken language #10 Urdu
Native speakers: 70,5+ million
Total speakers: 231,7+ million
The final language on the top list of most used languages in the world for translation is Urdu, which is the official language of Pakistan. Urdu is almost similar to Hindi, but there are differences in the use of characters.
Translating a website into Urdu can provide several benefits for businesses and organizations. First, it can help them reach a wider audience, especially in South Asia and the Middle East. Second, it can enhance their credibility and build trust with Urdu-speaking customers by showing that they value their language and culture. Third, it can improve their search engine visibility in Urdu-speaking regions by allowing them to rank for relevant keywords.
Difference between internet language pages and spoken languages
There is a difference between the language used on the internet and the language spoken directly, and it is important for you to be aware of this.
Internet language tends to follow a more formal and structured written grammar. When writing on internet platforms, people tend to pay attention to grammar, spelling, and consistent use of punctuation. Writing on the internet often follows standard grammar rules.
On the other hand, spoken grammar tends to be more flexible and not as bound by standard rules. There is a tendency to use shorter phrases, incomplete sentences, and a more casual style. In spoken language, grammar rules can be relaxed or even ignored depending on the context and communicative situation.
In internet language, the use of emoticons to depict facial expressions or specific objects is very common. In formal spoken language, the use of emoticons and emojis is nonexistent and is usually replaced by facial expressions and verbal intonation.
Internet language can encompass formal language style in certain contexts, especially in multilingual websites or official communications. Correct grammar usage, proper spelling, and a more structured style are important in these cases.
On the other hand, in spoken language, the style can vary from informal to formal, depending on the context and communicative situation. For example, in everyday conversations with close friends, spoken language tends to be more relaxed and informal, while in professional or formal contexts, spoken language can be more bound by formal rules and norms.
Use of abbreviations and slang
Internet language often involves the use of abbreviations, acronyms, and slang that are not common in formal spoken language. This includes the use of “LOL” (Laugh Out Loud), “BRB” (Be Right Back), or slang phrases commonly used in online communities. In formal spoken language, the use of abbreviations and slang is usually more limited. Therefore, if you are using abbreviations on a website or the internet, make sure your audience understands the meaning of those abbreviations.
These differences indicate that internet language has its own characteristics in terms of grammar usage, vocabulary, and style. It is more bound by written formats and influenced by online communities, while spoken language tends to be more flexible and dependent on context and social norms.
Therefore, for those who are translating websites into various languages, it is important to pay attention to the above points. This ensures that even though the audience is reading their language on the internet, the meaning of the language remains consistent with how they speak in their everyday lives.
How important is tracking website analytics for multilingual website?
Website analytics tracking for multilingual websites is very important. Here are some reasons why this should be done for those of you who translate into various languages.
- Performance measurement: measure the performance of your multilingual website. You can collect data on traffic, engagement, conversion rates, and user behavior for each language version.
- Language specific insights: You can see differences in traffic patterns, user behavior, and conversion rates between different language groups. This information helps you tailor your content, marketing strategy, and user experience according to the preferences and needs of your specific language audience.
- Content optimization: And you can identify the types of content that resonate most with certain language groups, the keywords that generate organic traffic, and the pages or sections of the website that receive the most engagement.
- SEO optimization: Website analytics plays an important role in optimizing your multilingual website’s search engine optimization (SEO). By examining keyword rankings, organic search traffic, and click rates for each language, you can identify keywords and SEO strategies that work for a particular language.
- Conversion tracking: Data analysis helps you convert conversions and transmits the effectiveness of your multilingual website in driving desired actions, such as purchases, form completions, or newsletter subscriptions.
To analyze your website, you can use the Google Search Console tool. First you have to setup Google Search Console for multilingual websites.
After setting up, in GSC you can see several data sites that you can analyze. First, starting from insight into the total impressions from your site every day, you can also filter based on several categories.
Then, you can also see web traffic results by country, for example as in the following image. Traffic from Japan is the largest in this case.
The next feature is to view link topics, namely external and internal links. These top links can be used as evaluation material to improve the performance of multilingual websites in the future.
Example business that have successfully expanded by translating websites
Below are several examples of businesses that have succeeded in getting wider benefits from translating their websites into various languages.
Airbnb is a popular online platform where people can register and book properties in various countries. Airbnb recognizes that locality plays an important role in their international expansion. Hence, they have localized their website into multiple languages seamlessly.
These companies realize that user experience is key to attracting a wider audience, so they customize their user interface, including visuals, according to specific market preferences, and of course ease of language switching. On the Airbnb website you can even change the language and region and you can also choose the currency that suits your destination country.
The positive impacts of this strategy include increased user engagement, higher conversion rates, and increased company credibility.
Success in one market does not guarantee success in another. Companies need to study the needs and preferences of potential new buyers and comply with applicable regulations.
One example of success in global expansion is IKEA. Originating from Sweden, IKEA has succeeded in growing rapidly throughout the world and becoming a global leader in the household appliances industry. By adapting to different market needs and preferences and maintaining a strong brand, IKEA has achieved success in the international market.
The positive impacts of this strategy include increased customer engagement, higher conversion rates, and of course providing an easy user experience. You can see some of the languages provided at IKEA as above.
Lyft, a ride-sharing service founded in 2012, quickly realized the importance of a personalized user experience. They localized the Lyft website and app into Spanish, French, and Portuguese to better serve users.
They started by localizing into Spanish, as it was the second most common language spoken by their users. Next, they customized the website and app to improve the user experience for drivers and passengers, in Spanish, French and Portuguese.
Additionally, as part of the localization process, Lyft also adapted their payment system to use local currencies and adjusted their policies according to specific country laws and regulations. For example, they localize their services on their website for drivers in the US and Canada.
Translate the most spoken languages with Linguise!
Now you know what are the top list of the most spoken languages in the world for translation. Knowing the list of the most used languages is important for you multilingual site owners.
Because visitors will come from any part of the world when they find your site content, they don’t need to bother translating manually, just select the available language options.
So, for those of you who don’t have an automatic translation service for your website, use Linguise.
Linguise is a language translation and localization software that can assist users in translating their site content. Linguise can translate many types of content, including websites, plugins, and more.
With more than 80 languages available, you can add any language to your site. To try the features before subscribing, take advantage of the free 1-month trial which you can get without entering a credit card.
Register Linguise, install it on the website, and translate your site into various languages that are widely used in the world!