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Which Languages Should I Start With?

By Kee Nethery — September 15, 2015

Which Languages Should I Start With?

The English market is the largest, supporting it first is smart.

The next languages you should support are those known by you and your co-workers. Because the cost of translating to those internally known languages is close to zero, those are good languages to use as you learn about app localization.

After those, the language choices depend upon your objectives.

Enterprise apps that support a business are typically looking to reach more of their potential customers and those customers are typically in specific geographical regions. For example, an app for a US bank should strongly consider a translation into Spanish. After Spanish, the third most common language varies by state. This article on gizmodo.com provides a simple graphic of what the next predominate language is for each state. Prepare to be surprised by the trends…

Commercial apps looking to make money should prioritize based upon potential markets. Look for non-English language markets where your app is popular and consider providing localized versions in those countries.

When you really have no idea which languages to choose, you could use the language chart in this TechCrunch article based upon Wall Street Journal data showing the languages selected by highly successful companies. From that chart, the top languages, in order are:

  1. English
  2. French
  3. German
  4. Japanese
  5. Spanish
  6. Portuguese
  7. Russian
  8. Italian
  9. Korean
  10. Chinese (simplified)
  11. Dutch
  12. Chinese (traditional)

Happy localizing!