According to a new report from Statista, more than half of all websites are incomprehensible to 80 percent of the world, with widely spoken languages greatly underrepresented on the Internet. This should lead all organizations that publish English-only websites to strongly consider a translation strategy in order to reach their total addressable market.

Even in a globalized world, language barriers have the potential to exclude people from access to information and participation in the global conversation. 

According to estimates from W3Techs, more than half of all websites use English as their content language. And while English is in fact the best bet if you want to maximize your potential audience online, its global footprint is not as large as one might think.

According to estimates from Ethnologue, a research center for language intelligence, roughly 1.46 billion people speak English around the world, of which roughly 380 million are native speakers. That makes English the most spoken language worldwide when including non-native speakers, ahead of Mandarin Chinese, which is spoken by roughly 1.14 billion people worldwide, including 940 million native speakers. 

The 1.46 billion people who speak English still make up less than 20 percent of the world population, meaning that roughly 4 in 5 people in the world are unable to understand 50 percent of all websites.

As the following chart shows, some widely-spoken languages, such as Chinese, Hindi and Arabic, are underrepresented on the internet, while others such as English, German and Russian have a larger footprint online than they have in the real world.

Screenshot 2024-02-25 210112

LanguageLine Can Help

Your website content is constantly evolving, and so is your consumers’ need to see it in the language they understand. Keeping your site updated with the latest content can be a daunting task in and of itself. When you also need to translate it into multiple languages, site maintenance can become a major challenge that impacts staff productivity and organizational profitability.

LanguageLine is your partner in turning these challenges into massive opportunities. Please click here to learn more about how we can help you translate and localize your website in more than 290 languages. 

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