Here are a few more insights regarding languages!
Top 10 Most Popular Languages
According to Busuu and Ethnologue, English is unsurprisingly the most spoken language in the world. But maybe not by as much as you’d think.
Mandarin, which is a group of Sinitic (“Chinese”) languages and dialects, comes very close behind English, while other sources claim that Chinese, with its varieties, is the most spoken language in the world. To be more precise, we are talking about 1.3 billion speakers, accounting for 16 percent of the world’s population.
But if you take only Mandarin into account you’ll again find it at second place after English.
Hindi, which is spoken mostly in India, comes at third place with 615 million speakers.
Unsurprisingly, some of the most popular destinations in Europe are also included in the list. Spanish and French follow behind Hindi with 534 million and 280 million speakers, respectively, while Portuguese holds 11th place with 199 million speakers.
And it’s also no surprise to see Arabic, Russian, Bengali, and Indonesian on the list.
One thing that is a bit interesting is that other reports place Japanese as one of the most popular languages, with 128 million speakers. And the reason this is interesting is due to the fact that Japanese is one of the toughest languages to learn.
Not only does it vastly differ from English and European languages, but it also uses three different forms of writing with symbols instead of the Latin alphabet. These forms are: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji.
Top 10 Most Popular Languages in Transifex
So far we’ve talked about the most popular languages worldwide. But how does that data align with the most popular languages that people are using in Transifex?
English is the most preferred source language, which is hardly a surprise.
And the top 10 target languages are:
- Portuguese (Brazil)
- French (France)
So there is definitely a lot of alignment here, if you make an exception for Dutch, Italian, and Dutch.
But, generally, some of the most popular countries are consistently chosen for localization along with some of the biggest regions like Russia and Japan.
Getting into localization by choosing some of the most popular languages is a good starting point. But with all that said, don’t forget that you should always take into consideration your own audience, first.
After all, research shows that 76% of people prefer buying products with info in their own language, while 40% will never buy from websites in other languages.
This means that even if you localize for an existing customer base, you can theoretically increase your sales before even tapping into new markets. And that’s because you are optimizing the experience for existing visitors who may not have yet decided to buy from you ’cause you are not using their language, and you do not relate to their culture.