Languages used on the Internet

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Most web pages on the Internet are in English, with varying amounts of information available in many other languages.

Languages used[edit]

A study made by W3Techs showed that in April 2013, almost 55% of the most visited websites used English as their content language.[1] Other top languages which are used at least in 2% of websites are Russian, German, Spanish, Chinese, French, Japanese, Arabic and Portuguese.

Note that these figures are based on the one million most visited web sites (e.g. 0.27% of the total web sites according to figures of December 2011), according to Alexa.com, and language is identified using only the home page of the sites in most cases. As a consequence, the figures show a significantly higher percentage for many languages (especially for English) as compared to the figures for all websites. The figures for all websites are unknown, but some sources estimate below 50% for English – see for instance Towards a multilingual cyberspace.[2]

The number of non-English pages is rapidly expanding. The use of English online increased by around 281% from 2001 to 2011, however this is far less than Spanish (743%), Chinese (1,277%), Russian (1,826%) or Arabic (2,501%) over the same period.[3]

Content languages for websites[edit]

Estimates of the percentages of Web sites using various content languages as of 12 March 2014:[1]

Content languages for websites as of 12 March 2014[1]
Rank Language Percentage
1 English 55.7%
2 Russian 6.0%
3 German 6.0%
4 Japanese 5.0%
5 Spanish 4.6%
6 French 4.0%
7 Chinese 3.3%
8 Portuguese 2.3%
9 Italian 1.8%
10 Polish 1.7%
11 Turkish 1.3%
12 Dutch 1.3%
13 Arabic 0.8%
14 Persian 0.8%
15 Czech 0.7%
16 Swedish 0.6%
17 Indonesian 0.4%
18 Korean 0.4%
19 Vietnamese 0.4%
20 Romanian 0.4%
21 Greek 0.4%
22 Danish 0.3%
23 Hungarian 0.3%
24 Thai 0.3%
25 Finnish 0.2%
26 Slovak 0.2%
27 Bulgarian 0.2%
28 Norwegian 0.2%
29 Hebrew 0.1%
30 Lithuanian 0.1%
31 Croatian 0.1%
32 Bokmål 0.1%
33 Ukrainian 0.1%
34 Serbian 0.1%
35 Slovenian 0.1%
36 Catalan 0.1%

All other languages are used in less than 0.1% of websites. Even including all languages, percentages may not sum to 100% because some websites contain multiple content languages.

Internet users by language[edit]

Estimates of the number of Internet users by language as of 31 May 2011:[4]

Internet users by language (2011)[4]
Rank Language Internet
users
        
1 English 565,004,000 27%
2 Chinese 509,965,000 25%
3 Spanish 164,969,000   8%
4 Japanese 99,182,000   5%
5 Portuguese 82,587,000   4%
6 German 75,423,000   4%
7 Arabic 65,365,000   3%
8 French 59,779,000   3%
9 Russian 59,700,000   3%
10 Korean 39,440,000   2%
11–36 Others 350,557,000   17%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Usage of content languages for websites". W3Techs.com. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  2. ^ NET.LANG: Towards a multilingual cyberspace, Laurent VAnnini and Hervé le crosnier (eds.), Maaya Network, C&F éditions, March 2012, 446 pp., ISBN 978-2-915825-08-4
  3. ^ Rotaru, Alexandru. "The foreign language internet is good for business". Retrieved 21 June 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Number of Internet Users by Language", Internet World Stats, Miniwatts Marketing Group, 31 May 2011, accessed 22 April 2012

External links[edit]