Research conducted in late November 2016 by the world’s largest online translation agency, One Hour Translation, a company which provides translation services to thousands of global e-commerce companies, shows that the most popular language into which English language e-commerce websites are translated is French, followed by German.
The research analysed 4,000 of e-commerce websites’ translation projects begun during 2015 and in the first 11 months of 2016.
The analysis ranked target languages according to the rate of translation projects opened for them, against the total annual number of translation projects for English-language e-commerce websites.
In 2016, translations from English to French ranked first, with 13.5% of the total relevant projects, followed closely by German, with a rate of 13.4%. To the surprise of the researchers, Dutch was ranked third, with 11.3% of the projects. The languages that ranked 4th to 10th in 2016 were, respectively, Italian (10%), Korean (9.8%), Japanese and Spanish (both 9.3%), Polish (8.5%), Norwegian (7.8%) and Swedish (7.1%).
French and German also topped the 2015 ranking, with 19% and 17% respectively. However, in 2015, Spanish was ranked third (15%), Dutch fourth (12%) and Italian fifth (9%). Ranks number 6 to 10 were Swedish (8%), Korean (7%), Norwegian (6%), Polish (5%) and Japanese (2%), respectively.
The researchers drew attention to the facts that Spanish fell from the 3rd place in 2015 to the 7th place in 2016, with Dutch taking its place, while Japanese climbed from the 10th place in 2015 to the 6th place in 2016.
According to Yaron Kaufman, co-founder & CMO of One Hour Translation, said: “The fact that the French and German markets top the priorities of global e-commerce players immediately below the English-speaking markets is not surprising, since Germany and France are the strongest economies in Continental Europe. French and German are also spoken in other strong economies such as Canada, Switzerland and Austria. Dutch came third as a target language in 2016, compared to number 4 in 2015, and this strengthening demonstrates the resilience of the economy and purchasing power of the Netherlands compared to other European countries.
“Another notable fact is the sharp rise in the ranking of Japanese, which rose from number 10 in 2015 to number 6 in 2016. This development demonstrates that e-commerce players are also targeting the significant purchasing power of consumers in Japan.”