Top Five Trending Online Languages

May 25, 2016 |

By Sarah-Claire Jordan

Top Five Trending Online Languages artGoogle has recently released some very important data regarding what languages are the most popular in terms of Google Translate. A few of them are ones that everyone would expect to see on a list of trending online languages, but there are some missing that most would think of as trending, and others in the list that we wouldn’t put there ourselves. However, data speaks volumes and shows actual trends, rather than the educated assumptions and guesses of linguists and translators.

Here are the five languages most used on Google Translate, according to Google’s data:

1. Spanish

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but it does reinforce the need to focus on Spanish in all of its varieties. In fact, most of the Spanish that is being requested via Google Translate is not from Spain, but from countries in Latin America with developing economies, such as Colombia, Argentina, Cuba, and Mexico. The U.S. also figures in the data, though that is a bit trickier as Spanish speakers in the U.S. come from all over the world and speak a wealth of dialects and varieties.

2. Arabic

Another predictable language on the list, Arabic is actually on the rise for less predictable reasons perhaps. Though it has always had a presence online, the events of the Arab Spring have really pushed it into the spotlight online and caused more people to discuss events and politics online, leading to more requests for English-to-Arabic translations. The Syrian refugee crisis is another reason for the increase in requests, and this will probably grow steadily as refugees make their way to English-speaking areas.

3. Russian

Though not on many people’s radars as a trending language of any sort, Russian is being requested a fair amount with Google Translate. It also has a place on another list, the top 10 languages used by global websites. 10 years ago, only about 46% of online content was in Russian, but now that number has almost doubled. Still, Russian speakers steadily request translation of content.

4. Portuguese

Another Romance language on the online scene, we can only assume that the type of Portuguese the data was referring to was Brazilian Portuguese. With everything that is going on regarding the Zika virus, and the Olympics coming up in Rio de Janeiro, it makes sense that more Brazilians than normal would be online and needing help translating content into their language. The political situation in Brazil right now is also a hugely trending topic that is being written about in many different languages, more content that Brazilians will want to understand and weigh in on.

5. Indonesian

Surprisingly, Chinese is not the best language to go for when talking about trending languages online. Your best bet is to go for Indonesian or Thai, but Indonesian is especially impressive lately in terms of its growing online presence. The rate at which people are creating content in Indonesian is astounding, as well as the number of Indonesians online right now.

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Category: Foreign Language

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