The Internet proliferation in the world is more than before. It has connected and made the world more globalized. There is no doubt that English is a global language and one of the most common languages on the Internet. But do you know that other than English, people around the world speak 7100 languages? Thus, having your digital content in the English language can restrict your business growth. That’s why many companies are going for language translation services for their global expansion.

The changing market dynamics after COVID-19 have changed the process of doing business. Many businesses have shifted from brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce. For this purpose, they have come up with their companies’ websites. Thanks to internet technology, it keeps the business connected with potential customers. The Internet provides support to e-commerce businesses.

Table of Content

  1. 11 Most Common Languages for 2024
    1. English
    2. Chinese
    3. Spanish
    4. Arabic
    5. Malay
    6. Portuguese
    7. Japanese
    8. Russian
    9. German
    10. Korean
  2. Wrapping Up

11 Most Common Languages for 2024

The most common languages used on the internet are English, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, German, French, Japanese, and Korean. This list is compiled on the basis of the number of native speakers and their contribution to e-commerce.

Let’s have a look at the 11 most common languages used on the internet.

1. English

English is the official language of the United Nations, European Union NAFTA, Caribbean community, African Union, and Union of South American Nations. In addition, it is also the official language of many other international organizations. Do you know that the majority of native English speakers reside in the USA, UK, and New Zealand?

As English is Lingua Franca. Therefore most of the business dealing in the USA and UK are conducted in the English language. It is one of the most used languages on the internet. Approximately 1.5 million people around the world speak this language. To entice 1.5 million people to use your products and services, you must translate your website into English.

English is the pioneer and most common language of the internet. Around 25.3% of people around the world use the internet in the English language. Usually, all the digital content is developed in the English language and then it is translated into other languages according to the target market. The word internet is also derived from the English language.

2. Chinese

China is the second most commonly used language on the internet. The massive use of the internet in China is because of its rising population that uses the internet in the Chinese language. Other than China, it is the official language of Taiwan and Singapore. Moreover, it is the sixth official language of the United Nations.

On average, a Chinese person spends 117 minutes per day on the internet. Social media has seen exponential growth in China despite the great firewall that blocks Chinese users from using other global platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Google, and YouTube. However, people around the world can use Chinese social media platforms with ease.

China’s growth in the last few years is exemplary. They made progress because they go for economies of scale and for this reason, they use innovative manufacturing machinery. If you want to tap into the Chinese market then you must translate digital content into the Chinese language. This Chinese language is spoken in different dialects that are mutually intelligible. Therefore, human translation is best for the Chinese language.

3. Spanish

Spanish is the official language of many American countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Cuba, Costa Rica, the Dominance Republic, and El Salvador. The list of most common languages on the internet includes Spanish as an important language. Moreover, people living in Ecuador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Uruguay, Puerto Rico, and Spain speak this language commonly. More than 750 million people around the world speak Spanish. If you want to cater to Spanish-speaking people online then you must take the assistance of Spanish translation services.

Spaniards spend around 215 minutes daily on the internet. This shows that Spanish people are in more contact with the internet. The content in the Spanish language is growing. According to the statistics, Spanish ranks at number three with 8% of internet users using the Spanish language.

In the last few years, the use of the Spanish language in the digital world has risen manifold, and it ranked third after English and Chinese. According to the rough estimate, 10% of the world’s population can understand the Spanish language in the next generation. Therefore businesses that are transforming their business to digitalization must include the Spanish language in their localization strategy.

4. Arabic

The countries where people speak Arabic as their primary language are Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Tunisia, Syria, Sudan, and Somalia. Moreover, people living in Qatar, Oman, Morocco, Mauritania, Libya, Lebonan, Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Djibouti, Comoro, Chad, Bahrain, and Algeria.

To your surprise, Arabic is also one of the most common languages used on the internet. If you do a quick research on Google using the Arabic language then you will find considerable change in the search results as compared to English both in terms of quality and quantity. The search engineers filter the internet content by language really accurate now and Arabic content has increased a lot in recent years.

Many industries in the MENA region are becoming globally recognized and they are moving their business to an e-commerce model. In addition, many countries in the UAE are developing and becoming main business hubs. These regions provide ample business opportunities. Therefore, using the Arabic language in the region for online content can help in penetrating these markets. Speaking to the customer in the language that they understand creates a personal link and helps you stand out in the fierce competition. It has been witnessed that investing in digital Arabic content can increase online share and helps in grabbing the market share.

5. Malay

The other name of this language is Bahasa Malaysia. Around 18 million people around the world speak this language. It is the official language of Malaysia. Other than Malaysia, it is the common language spoken in Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, Myanmar, the United States, and Thailand.

It is an Austronesian language and belongs to the Indonesian and Western branches of languages. Malay became the official language of Malaysia in 1968. This language has borrowed many loan words from Dutch, Portuguese, Sanskrit, Arabic, and many Chinese and English dialects. Around 64% of Malay people use the internet in the Malay language. According to a rough estimate, 30 million people will be using the internet in Malaysia by 2025.

The Malay language provides ample opportunities to people that want to sell their products and services in Malay-speaking countries. Looking at the number of internet users in the Malay language, you must translate your business website into the common Malay language.

6. Portuguese

Portuguese is the official language of different states that includes Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and Cabo Verde. Moreover, people living in Brazil, Angola, Sao Tome, Portugal, Principe, and Timor- Leste also speak this language. The important thing to note is that it is also the official language of Macau which is the Special Administrative Region of China.

Portuguese is also one of the most common languages used on the web. Approximately 3.7% of the world’s total population used the internet in this language. Therefore, if you are in the e-commerce business then you must include Portuguese in the language translation strategy.

Do you know that 80% of Portuguese speakers are Brazilian? Thus having a seamless translation in the Portuguese language can help business organizations and governments to easily communicate with Brazilian government authorities and start a new business venture in Portuguese.

The PPI producer price index is a very advanced methodology and updated information on the presence of Portuguese on the internet. It takes into account a large number of data to check the multilingualism of speakers. Their final report concluded that Portuguese is the sixth most commonly spoken language on the internet.

7. French

You will be surprised to know that French is the official language in 29 countries which makes it the second most spoken common language around the world. It is also the procedural language of the European Union and the court of justice. Moreover, it is also one of the official languages of the United Nations.

French is the romance language and it is ranked seventh number as the most used language on the internet. Moreover, the French market is the seventh largest e-commerce market in the world with an estimated revenue of US $94,481.7 million in 2024. French is an important and one of the most used language in the world. With an expected increase of 14.3% in 2024, the French eCommerce market is going to contribute to the global growth of 10.4% in 2024. Just like in France, global e-commerce sales are expected to increase over the next few years.

Five markets are flourishing in French E Commerce markets. Fashion is at the top and contributes 32.4% of French e-commerce revenue. Next comes food and personal care with 22.3%, electronic and media with 16.4%, and Furniture and appliances with 15.7 %. The last field is Toys, Hobbies, and DIY with the remaining revenue of 13.2%.

8. Japanese

Japanese is the official language of Japan. Chinese and Korean people that lived under the rule of the Japanese at the start of the century also speak the Japanese language. The fascinating thing about Japanese is that 93.8% of Japanese use the internet. This shows that their entire population uses the internet. Followed by English, Japanese has the highest hits on Wikipedia.

Japan has the 3rd largest e commerce market. It has a predicted revenue of US $186,946.4 million this year making it ahead of the United Kingdom. With an estimated increase of 14.0 % in 2024, the Japanese e commerce market can contribute to the global growth rate of 10.4 this year.

Japan is a tech-savvy country. Therefore, if you want to start an electronics business in Japan then you must translate the website into their common Japanese language. In this way, you can target 93.8% of Japanese that use the internet.

9. Russian

Russian is the official language of Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. People living in Ukraine and many former Soviet countries like Estonia, Azerbaijan, Latvia, Georgia, Moldova, Lithuania, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan also speak the Russian language.

The survey by the W3tech which is the provider of information regarding web technologies revealed that the Russian language has ousted German as the most used common language on websites. Around 6% of websites are in the Russian language.

The internet domain of Russia .ru is one of the most popular country-specific domains. Around 4.4% of the websites use this domain. The second domain is Germany which is .de followed by UKs domain .uk

Russian is one of the languages with most of the online content. The internet user penetration will be 47.7% this year and it is expected to increase by 52.8% by 2027

10. German

German is the official language of Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, and Germany. People living in Liechtenstein and Luxembourg also speak this language. The German language is ranked among the top 10 languages used on the internet. It also changed its position with time. But it remained in the slot of the top 10 for years.

You will be amazed to know that the internet in Germany is bombarded with German content so you do not have to go out and meet people, you can connect with them online through their common language. The internet domain .de is perfectly integrated with a country. If you know German then you can easily access 15 million websites. Surprisingly, these websites don’t include German sites that end with .org, .info, and .net. In regards to numbers, .de ranks in second place after .com.

It is projected that internet penetration can grow up to 93% by 2027.

Looking at the growing statistics, if you want to start a business in Germany then you must require certified translations for certain types of documents like the commercial registry, powers of attorney, and company contracts.

Do you know that the term certified translation has a specific meaning in Germany because the sworn translator’s system is followed there? These translators must fulfill certain requirements to be sworn by the court. Although, they are authorized to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the translation by their signature and stamp but only for the language combinations for which they have approved.

11. Korean

75 million people around the world speak the Korean language. Out of this number, 48 million people reside in South Korea and 24 million in North Korea. Moreover, 2 million speakers reside in China, 1 million in the United States, and approximately 500,000 in Japan.

According to the rough estimate, 92% of Koreans use the internet. Korean people are very fond of online shopping. You will be surprised to know that 50% of Koreans aged 60 or above are still fond of online shopping. Therefore, if you want to launch products and services in South Korea then you must take the assistance of language translation services. It can help your company to reach a wider audience.

Wrapping Up

To keep pace with the fast global markets, you must communicate with the customers in a common language that they understand. For this purpose, you need to translate your digital content according to the language of the target market. No doubt machine translation has enhanced the speed of the translation process but for enticing customers, you need to take the assistance of human translators because they provide you with seamless translation services while keeping regional and cultural intricacies in view.

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