11 Fascinating Facts About the Languages of the Internet

English has long been the dominant language of the Internet, but more and more content is being written in Arabic, Japanese, and other languages. Did you know that Facebook covers more than 70 languages? Learn more about the changing linguistic landscape of Twitter, Wikipedia, and other sites.

11 Fascinating Facts about the Languages
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  • Facebook is the biggest social network linguistically, covering more than 70 languages.

  • Of the more than 7,000 languages in the world, the most popular search engine, Google, is available in only about 120.

  • Only about 8% of the languages spoken today are used for content on the Internet.

  • The online dominance of English is decreasing. Nowadays, around 52% of websites are in English, down from 75% in 1998.

  • India is projected to contribute the most to the linguistic diversity of the Internet, with estimates of more than 500 million Indians using non-English languages online by 2021.

  • There are more Wikipedias than there are countries in the world–the online encyclopedia is available in 285 languages. The smallest is Kanuri, spoken mostly in Nigeria, with only one article (for now).

  • The second-biggest Wikipedia language is German, and per capita, the most active Wikipedia editors are Germans. Cantonese speakers come in second for the number of Wikipedia edits per speaker.

  • Roughly half of all websites are in English. The next most common website language is Russian, at 5.9%. German is third, with 5.7%, followed by Japanese, at 5.0%.

  • 81% of European Union Internet users occasionally use a foreign language for various purposes on the web. However, 90% prefer visiting sites in their native language.