What languages are most commonly translated?
Until relatively recently, translation agencies had a rather limited range of services. English, German and French were the most common languages, especially in the European sphere However, with the invention of the Internet and the development of new technologies, language barrier have basically disappeared.. Today, any company has direct access to any country in the world and, as a result, the need for professional translations has grown exponentially.
We can also see this reflected in the continuous modernisation of the translation sector. That’s why, translation and interpreting services offer much more variety and have been adapted to meet the client’s needs. Although English is still the most sought-after language among translation companies, many other languages have become more popular in recent decades. Russian, Arabic and Chinese are among the most promising.
Here is a selection of the most commonly translated languages in the world. Check it out!
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In an increasingly globalised and interconnected world, English has become a universal resource, especially in the political and economic landscapes. It is by far the most highly-demanded language among translation agencies (apart from being the most widely spoken language in the world, of course). There are currently more than 1,121 million English speakers, including natives and non-natives as well as countries that implemented English as second official language.
Although it is not a priori considered one of the most widely spoken languages, it has more than 147 million speakers in Europe and Asia. As part of the Indo-European language family, also people in Ukraine, Belarus and Georgia speak Russian. Due to its geographic extension, the demand for Russian translations has grown extremely fast.
There are currently more than 512 million Spanish speakers around the world. Mostly people in South America, Central America and Spain speak Spanish. However, more and more foreign countries are integrating Spanish in their official school and training programmes.
Over the last decades, the global linguistic landscape has undergone considerable changes. While we can detect that the more traditionally widespread languages like French or German have declined and others such as Arabic have become truly emerging languages. It might be the language for which a native translator is most important. Their cultural context is radically different from the Western and, as a result, correct interpretation of meanings is a lot more difficult.
In the ranking of the world's most widely spoken countries, French takes the fifth place with over 284 million speakers. Its international presence dates back to colonialism. As a result, it is present in different regions of Africa. On the other hand, French is a cult language all over the world and is especially relevant in commercial and professional contexts in Europe.
The economy is one of the most important, or maybe even the most important factor in the translation sector. The East has experienced a tremendous economic development and established stronger ties with the rest of the world due to its international professional relations.
Currently, there is a high demand for Chinese translators, especially for native speakers. The language’s complexity makes it one of the most difficult expertise fields for translators, due to the broad knowledge which needs to be acquired (at least 8,000 different characters). It’s very likely that the demand for Chinese translations will grow exponentially in these coming years. Cantonese is he most common Chinese dialect offered by translation companies, but there are a lot more.
Translation needs also reveal the incipient presence of emerging economies such as Brazil’s. Portuguese has therefore become one of the most demanded languages among specialised translation companies. Due to their strong commercial links, Spain is continuously in need of native Portuguese translators.
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Blog writer and Community Manager interested in multiculturality and linguistic diversity. From her native Venuzuela, she has travelled and lived for many years in France, Germany, Cameroon and Spain, passing on her passion for writing and her intercultural experiences.