The Languages of the Internet

Why does language matter?  Language on the internet is constantly changing.  We go from saying ‘be right back’, to ‘brb’, and from ‘talk to you later’, to ‘ttyl.

Here in the 21st century, the internet is like our right hand man.  We use it for everything.  We use it to online shop, to read the news and gossip about what’s happening around the world, for gaming, to do research, to have online chats and of course, we use it for social media.

According to Internet Live Stats, by July 2016 there will be over 3.4 billion internet users.  That means close to 50% of the world’s population will be on the internet.  With that much of the population online, imagine all the different languages being used.  Those languages will encompass everything from English to Russian to Malay to Arabic.  Internet World Stats shows that the English language currently has the most internet users, but it’s one of the smallest growing languages used online.  Languages that are growing rapidly are Russian, Chinese, Spanish and Malay.  The language on the internet with the highest growth is Arabic, which has grown 6,592% in the last 15 years.  English, currently holds the highest usage at 25.9%, but it’s closely followed by Chinese which rings in at 20.9% and although Arabic, has the fastest growth curve but it currently only adds up to 5.0% of the internet user’s world total.  With over 74.1% of the internet population speaking a language other than English, it shows how important the ability to communicate world-wide has become.

When doing anything via the internet, whether its chat, shopping or a simple search, common sense tells us that people are going to want to see the result in their preferred language.  English always seems like the easiest option and yes, it is currently the language with the most users but what needs to be considered is that all the other languages are growing online at a much faster pace than English.  Language should always be the first thing considered.  Everyone is happy when they are able to view things in their preferred language and before we know it, the internet will be a space where you can view anything in any language at any time.  Language is what connects people and whether it is verbal or written, language matters.

Written by Cara Buckspan, Social Media and Support Representative at Yappn. For more information, visit us at or contact us at

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