Chinese on the Internet
Chinese: the Second Most-Used Language on the Internet
As surprising as it may seem, English is no longer the internet’s lingua franca. Other languages are now claiming their share of the spotlight – particularly Chinese, which has become the second most-used language on the Web. According to www.internetworldstats.com, there are approximately 536.6 million English-speaking internet users and about 444.9 million Chinese-speaking internet users. Spanish, the second most widely spoken language in the world, is spoken by roughly 300 million people, but only comes in third on the Web, with a mere 153.3 million Spanish-speaking internet users.
The Next Web magazine has also predicted that Chinese will become the prevailing language on the internet in less than five years. In fact, the number of Chinese internet users increased by 36 million in 2010 alone. At this pace, the Chinese language will soon dominate the virtual world. It’s important to remember that only a small percentage of people in China have internet access and that there is a far larger percentage of the English-speaking population in the world that uses the internet. What’s more, not all Chinese users navigate the internet in their native language.
There is no way of telling what the future holds, but we can say with all certainty that Chinese will dominate the virtual world before 2020.
- Wikipedia. List of Languages by Number of Native Speakers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_languages_by_number_of_native_speakers
- Trésor de la langue française au Québec. L’espagnol. http://www.tlfq.ulaval.ca/axl/langues/2vital_inter_espagnol.htm
- The Next Web. Chinese: The New Dominant Language of the Internet. http://thenextweb.com/asia/2010/12/21/chinese-the-new-dominant-language-of-the-internet-infographic/