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Which Language Should You Translate Your Content Into First?

Daniel Chang
Daniel Chang
Posted in Zoom Mar 25 · 26 Mar, 2022
Which Language Should You Translate Your Content Into First?

The modern world is more connected than ever. With more than 7,000 languages used around the world, the demand for content translation and localization is higher than ever. It makes your content more accessible, easier to search, and more engaging for different audiences. Unfortunately, translating content for every language is simply not possible, so how do you prioritize when choosing which language to translate to?

Things to Consider When Translating Your Content

If you're wondering where to start to get optimal results, there's no universal answer. However, this article will provide valuable metrics and other factors that can help you figure out which language to choose for translation.

Location, Location, Location

The optimal translation languages will be different for every individual and every company. It primarily depends on where your audience or your clients live. You can determine this information in several ways, but analyzing your traffic with tools like Google Analytics is by far the most straightforward one.

By clicking on Audience followed by Geo, you'll get to the Location and Language tabs. The Language tab will show you the languages your visitors use, and the Location tab will tell you which region they're coming from. Again, translating your content to every language on the list is not feasible and probably unnecessary either. However, it is recommended to do it for languages that garner the most traffic.

It's also worth checking out other metrics like engagement, bounce rates, and high pages per session rates. All this data will help you make an informed decision and select the translation language most beneficial for your business.

If you're running a YouTube channel, the Channel Analytics in the YouTube Studio can help you learn where your viewers come from. After clicking on the Audience tab, scroll down to the Geography section to see the top locations for a time period you specify. This data can help you choose the best video translation language for your content.

However, keep in mind that having a low view count in a specific location doesn't mean translation wouldn't pay off. These numbers might be low simply because your content isn't translated. If you aim to grow your audience in a particular region, translation is the fastest way to do it.

Local or Global?

If your company has a presence in different countries, translating content for your global employees and clients makes perfect sense. Large international enterprises mostly rely on translation to localize and distribute content. If you're only present in one country or region, you shouldn't assume a single language is enough. Translation will still offer significant benefits - from expanding your audience to boosting your content's SEO.

It's also worth thinking about other companies that offer similar products or services. Have a look at their online presence (such as their websites, blogs, and social media pages). Which languages do they translate their content to? This information will provide insight into translation languages that offer the most potential.

Most Popular Languages for Translation

While there's no one-size-fits-all translation solution, here are the top 10 languages for translation based on current trends along with the number of native speakers. Remember, most of them probably won't be a good option for your business, but the list offers a great starting point if you're planning to go global.

  1. Simplified Chinese (1.2 billion)

  2. Spanish (477 million)

  3. English (379 million)

  4. German (95 million)

  5. Korean (80 million)

  6. French (77 million)

  7. Italian (67 million)

  8. Dutch (23 million)

  9. Swedish (10 million)

  10. Hebrew (5 million)

While the number of native speakers of a particular language is valuable information, you shouldn't make any decisions based on that alone. For example, while English has 379 million native speakers, it's very popular in different corners of the world, and 753 million people speak it as their second language.

Spanish has an impressive number of native speakers, but it also has several very different dialects, so adequate localization for Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, or any of the other 15 states where Spanish is the official language is a must. Simply translating your content without proper localization would probably cause confusion or even frustration.

Looking for a Reliable Translation Service?

In our digital era, translation makes an affordable and efficient expansion strategy as long as it's done right. Many businesses and content creators reach for automated translation solutions. While it has improved significantly in recent years, machine translation is still far from flawless and can do more harm than good.

On the other hand, professional translation services like GoTranscript have the skills, experience, and knowledge that transcends linguistic proficiency. With seasoned native speakers, over 50 supported languages, and superior quality assurance, you can count on flawless translation quality for all types of content.