There are an astonishing number of languages in the world, but only a handful of them make it to the list of the most popular languages.

At LingArch, we provide professional translation services all over the world in more than 120 languages. Today, we’re shining a spotlight on seven of them. Scroll down to discover more about the most popular languages for translation.

1. English

When it comes to a popularity contest, English has every other language beat. Boasting 1.35 billion speakers, it’s the single most widely spoken language in the world.

Some figures show only 360 million people have English as their mother tongue, so the bulk of English speakers learn it as a second (or third or fourth) language. Between them, almost 20 percent of the world speaks it.

With statistics like this, it may come as no surprise that English has become a universal language adopted by many industries. Not only is it the most commonly used language on the web, but it’s also the current global language of trade and technology.

And despite Brexit, it remains the lingua franca (or working language) of the European Union. Policymakers slip into English more often than any other official language when addressing parliament or the press.

Due to its popularity, English has many applications in the professional world. Many of our clients rely on our English language translation services for a variety of projects spanning the legal, medical, and financial fields.

2. Simplified Chinese

Chinese trails closely behind English as the most popular language in the world. Out of the approximate 7.9 billion people in the world, 1.31 billion speak it, with the majority being native speakers.

Despite recent reports of its slowing economic growth, China remains a colossal trading force with an impressive GPD of 15,222.16 USD. China is a huge opportunity for businesses ready to tap into the Chinese market.

However, language may represent a significant barrier for foreign companies. Simplified Chinese uses logograms, which are symbols that represent a whole word or phrase. This writing system may pose a challenge to people who are used to alphabetic scripts, like English or Spanish.

When trying to make an impassioned pitch to Chinese buyers, the importance of working with professional Chinese translation services can’t be overstated. These services have a roster of native Chinese speakers who first learnt to write using this system.

Our Chinese translation service helps you convert your message in a way that resonates with Chinese speakers while meeting compliance with strict Chinese regulations. And of course, we also offer Chinese to English translation services, too.

3. Spanish

Behind English and Chinese, Spanish is one of the most used languages in the world. Nearly 560 million people speak it, and it’s the official language in 20 countries.

As a strong economic presence in the EU, Spain is an attractive business opportunity for foreign investors. If you’re in the middle of such a partnership, you may have a need for a Spanish legal translator to translate financial and legal documents.

Although Spain may be the birthplace of the language, it has migrated to several continents, and where someone learns Spanish has a massive impact on the type of Spanish they speak.

The largest divide is between Castilian Spanish (the dialect spoken in mainland Spain) and Latin American Spanish. From there, Latin countries are further divided by Spanish dialects that have local quirks influencing vocabulary, pronunciation, and even grammar.

Our English to Spanish translation services focus on the specific dialect of Spanish, ensuring our Spanish legal translators follow the appropriate rules for your project.

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4. Arabic

Spoken by roughly 520 million people around the world, Arabic is one of the most used languages in the Middle East and North Africa. On this list, Arabic is distinctive for two reasons: it’s the only Central Semitic language mentioned here today, and it’s the only language that reads right to left.

The latter feature can make it challenging to localise your website for Arabic visitors, so your localisation efforts must go beyond the written word. You’ll also have to tweak your user experience to ensure your site scripts support right-to-left navigation and reading.

This is the kind of detailed approach that we apply to all our Arabic to English translation services — whether you want to expand your hospitality business in Morocco or you’re involved in a case going through the Saudi courts.

5. Russian

According to the language learning app Babbel, some 280 million people speak Russian, making it the seventh most spoken language in the world.

It more than earns its spot on our list of the most popular languages for this fact alone, but it also impresses with these additional titles:

  • It’s the most spoken Slavic language in the world
  • It’s the largest native language in Europe
  • It’s the second-most common language on the Internet

Russian has a distinctive, as it is one of 50 languages that use a Cyrillic alphabet. For those more familiar with Latin languages, an entirely new alphabet may pose a problem when dealing with Russian law firms and corporations.

Our Russian to English translation services are highly valuable when you need to understand every detail of financial and legal documents.

6. Japanese

Japanese is another one of the most used languages here at LingArch. And while most of its 120 million speakers reside in Japan, you can hear the language all over the world — most notably in Brazil, home to the world’s largest community of Japanese people outside Japan.

Wherever your business takes you, Japanese document translation services are an important addition to your business plan. Japanese combines logograms borrowed from Chinese characters with syllabic scripts, making it a uniquely complex language to read and write for the average layperson.

Our Japanese translators are native speakers with extensive experience translating documents, ensuring you’ll always understand every detail of a document.

As a certified Japanese translation service, LingArch provides accredited and accurate translations for all your needs — whether you need to file a translation of foreign currency financial statements with the Financial Services Agency or to understand a Japanese non-disclosure agreement before you sign it.

7. Indonesian

We end this list just as we started it. More people speak Indonesian as a second language rather than their mother tongue — just like English. Native speakers make up only roughly 42 million of the 198 million people who speak Indonesian in the country.

Indonesian is another of the most popular languages requested from our translators. We provide legal translation from Indonesian to English (and its reverse) to provide you with the details you need to move forward with a case, business deal, or patent.

What Language Do You Need to Translate?

English, Chinese, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Arabic, and Indonesian — these represent some of the most used languages at LingArch, but by no means are they the only languages we translate.

We offer our certified translation services in more than 120 languages, so we can assist with popular languages and some not-so-popular languages, too. Regardless of the working language, our translators promise accuracy, confidentiality, and experience.

To find out more about how we can help you with your next task, get in touch today.