Although English is a "lingua franca" for the web environment (more than 50% of all content is in English), other languages are gaining momentum. For example, 40% of users will not buy if the content is in a foreign language, and 66% will use a machine translation.

It seems languages such as Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, and Hindi can be considered top priorities. But if, on the one hand, they have over 300 million speakers each, among the most widely spoken worldwide. On the other hand, your efforts on localization for one of them may not pay off if your product doesn't fit the audience's cultural or national preferences or can't compete in the market (for any reason), etc. To rely solely on the number of speakers is not a comprehensive enough approach for making good considerations. So, how to choose the best language for app localization? In this article, we will try to figure out.

The localization in web applications as well as in mobile industry requires a deeply-prepared strategy. To help you choose the best language for app localization in 2023, we need a transparent overview, so we collected the following statistics:

1. Most spoken languages worldwide

Of course, one of the crucial aspects of choosing a language for localization is the volume of the audience - the more expansive your sales funnel is - the more leads you will have. In 2023, the most spoken languages worldwide are:

  1. English - 1.4 billion speakers (373 million are native speakers)
  2. Chinese - 1.3 billion native speakers
  3. Hindi – 602 million speakers (334 million are native speakers)
  4. Spanish – 534 million speakers (485 million are native speakers)
  5. Arabic – 372 million speakers (362 million are native speakers)

So, as you can see, this list includes both European and Asian languages, which allow flexibility in the choice. Find the list of top 10 languages below.

Lingohub tip. Estimate your budget

Some regions for localization will require more spending from your side and some less. For example, you want to localize your English app to German. In that case, it will be much easier to find translators, you will edit less design, and you will better understand the cultural peculiarities in comparison with English->Chinese localization. Some regulations like GDPR will be the same in the first case, and most likely, you will be able to use the same payment systems, etc. Start choosing the language for localization with an understanding of your budget.

2. Countries with the biggest number of app downloading

To find the best market for your app localization, consider the application usage in the region and the entire digitalization level. The Statista research provides the following data for the 2022 year:

  1. China - 111.1 billion downloads
  2. India - 28.8 billion downloads
  3. United States - 12.2 billion downloads
  4. Brazil - 10.6 billion downloads
  5. Indonesia - 7.7 billion downloads
  6. Russia - 5.4 billion downloads
  7. Mexico - 5. billion downloads
  8. Turkey - 3.7 billion downloads
  9. Vietnam - 3.5 billion downloads
  10. Philippines - 3.4 billion downloads
Number of mobile app downloads worldwide in 2022 by country

Lingohub tip. Plan ahead

The localization is not limited to one region; plan which one will be next. The better way is to analyze regions using the same pluricentric language: Brazil-Portugal (Portuguese), Spain-Mexico (Spanish), France-Canada (French), UK-USA-Australia (English), etc.

Of course, each region has its vocabulary, pronunciation, and cultural peculiarities. Still, they are much more similar, and such an approach can cut off the cost of localization in the future.

3. The countries where users spend the most significant amount of money on applications

The number of users does not always correlate with market profits. For instance, India ranks second in users but is not in the top 10 for app consumer spending. The top countries in this rating are:

  1. China - 58 million dollars 2 .US - 42 million dollars
  2. Japan - 17 million dollars
  3. South Korea - 6 million dollars
  4. UK - 3.8 million dollars
  5. Germany - 3.7 million dollars
  6. Taiwan - 3.6 million dollars
  7. Canada - 2.6 million dollars
  8. Australia - 2.3 million dollars
  9. France - 2.1 million dollars

As you see, the latest two lists differ much. The main reasons are differences in the country's overall development, including factors such as internet access and penetration, GDP, and mean and median wages.

Lingohub tip. Analyze the market

Compare the number of potential users in the region with consumer spending and the average cheque. If you monetize your application somehow, ensure your strategy can work in the new location.

Also, consider the preferable platform to understand how to divide the effort between them. For example, iOS is more prevalent in the US and primarily unused in China, where Android has over 80% of the market share.

How Lingohub can help you with app localization?

No matter which language you choose - Lingohub will always support you. Adapting the mobile application to different regions is challenging (between ourselves, selecting a language is challenging). Still, your process could be smooth and faster with the correct tool. Lingohub provides the following features:

  • OTA(over-the-air) updates to save your time in publishing the application to the stores;
  • iOS to Android and Android to iOS converting to speed up the multi-mobile development;
  • Robust CAT tools - term base, style guides, machine translation, translation memory, etc. to support your linguistic team;
  • Professional translators that can help you with adaptation or proofreading;
  • Etc.

Our approach at Lingohub is encapsulated in our slogan - "You create - Lingohub translates." We strive to continuously improve our app and invite you to learn more about it by scheduling a demo call with our team. You can also try Lingohub for yourself with our 14-day free trial.

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