What are the top languages of the internet?

  • What are the top languages of the internet?

    It’s of no surprise that an estimated 80% of the internet’s content is in English. But despite these figures, Ethan Zuckerman, the director of the MIT Centre for Civic Media, suggests that English can no longer be considered the language of the internet. But if English is fast becoming the world’s second language, is made up of 400 million speakers, and is recognised as the language of business, are Mr Zuckerman’s viewpoints valid? 


    Well to begin, there are several reasons for the shifts in other languages becoming increasingly available on the web. In recent years, a new shift has been reported in the way English words are used across the web. It is estimated that only 40% of this content is in English.


    There have also been other developments showcasing that web usage increases rapidly in regions where English is not the leading language. User generated content has also  been very significant in the shift of languages such as Chinese or Arabic being utilised. But does this mean that English isn’t a leading contender as the most used language on the internet. Well in fact it doesn’t. According to the figures, English is the most used language on the web, with over 800 million users.


    And whilst English dominates as the language of the web, content in other language are becoming increasingly available. In his argument, Ethan Zuckerman also highlighted that creating content is very much determined by audience. If you have a language such as Malay which is the tenth most used language on the web, compared to Spanish which is the third most used language, content will reach Spanish readers at a larger scale in contrast to a Malaysian audience. Its factors such as these which determine the type of content available and the type of content created. And it is this particular factor which exhibits that English is guaranteed to get you a wider response due to it being the bride language of the world and the most used language on the internet. 


    Below we have the top 10 languages of the internet in 2013. (In millions of users)


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