Even in developing nations, the number of individuals utilizing the internet is rising quickly. More and more individuals are investing their money in technology and buying at least internet-capable gadgets.
An Increase in Internet Use Worldwide
According to earlier statistics, the global recorded population of internet users will multiply, which is precisely what happened.
For instance, internet users increased from 2.9 billion in 2014 (roughly 40.6 percent of the world’s population) to around 3.2 billion in 2015 (or about 43.4 percent of the world’s population).
Since then, the number has continued to rise, and future projections indicate an even faster rise. The majority of the increase will occur in underdeveloped countries.
Language plays a crucial role in communication online or offline daily. People generally gravitate toward their first language, which is often the one they feel most at ease speaking in daily life.
However, a lot has changed with the advent of the internet. Online, specific languages predominate while others are almost extinct. What then happens to those who do not favor or comprehend the dominant languages?
These individuals may have some of the fastest internet connections, but their fast connection is meaningless if they cannot read the content of the websites they visit.
A study conducted in 2015 comparing the top online languages with the highest speaker populations produced some data that got people thinking.
The most widely spoken languages in the world
With an estimated 1.2 billion individuals using it as their first language, Chinese topped the list of languages with the most native speakers worldwide.
Spanish came in second with almost 0.4 billion speakers, while English, with an estimated 0.36 billion speakers globally, came in third. With an estimated 0.26 billion speakers, Hindi is fourth on the list, while Arabic rounds out the top five with 0.24 billion speakers.
Russian, which has 0.17 billion speakers; Japanese, which has 0.13 billion speakers; German, French, and Korean, which each have 0.08 billion speakers, are other significant languages on the list. With 0.06 billion speakers, Italian was added to the list as well.
Languages That The Web Mostly Uses
The languages utilized on the web, in contrast, were considerably different. English came third on the list with just 0.36 billion speakers in reality. However, regarding the internet, English came out on top, with 54.4 percent of the ten million websites examined indicating that they utilized the language.
Russian speakers made up 0.17 billion of the world’s speakers, and 5.9 percent of the web pages online were in the language. With 5.7 percent of all websites utilizing it, German came in third place.
Fourth place went to the Japanese language with 5.0 percent, while fifth place went to Spanish with 4.7 percent. The percentage of languages classified as “other” was 11.4 percent.
Are Some Languages Dying on the Internet?
Even though more and more people are using the internet, data reveals that the number of languages utilized online is steadily declining. However, it’s interesting to note that several well-known websites now support more languages.
For instance, Google Translate supported 91 languages by the end of 2015, up from 68 at the beginning of 2012.
The number of languages supported by Twitter increased from 21 in 2012 to 48 in 2015 — more than twice as many as in 2012. Other businesses, like Facebook, Wikipedia, and Google Search, also saw growth.
The information above, however, shouldn’t mislead anybody. The fact that Google supports a language does not necessarily imply that most people on Earth speak it. The reality is that the languages spoken on the internet are not diverse.
Although the rest of the globe and other small businesses do not have websites in that many languages, with more than half of the world choosing English, these technological titans may be doing their bit to revive or persevere specific languages.