Christian Arno

Christian Arno

CEO, Lingo24

European Commission Report Proves the Need for a Multilingual Internet

We’ve been paying close attention to the results of a new survey that details European internet users’ online language preferences.

The survey, ordered by the European Commission, throws up some rather intriguing statistics for anyone with an interest in eCommerce and export in the European Union:

  • 9 in 10 internet users prefer to use websites written in their own language
  • 42% ‘never’ buy from a website that isn’t in their native language
  • 44% said they felt they were missing out on something interesting online because it was written in a language they couldn’t understand
  • Only 18% buy ‘frequently’ or ‘all the time’ from websites not in their native language
  • Less than half of all respondents use English at all to read or watch content online (with French, German and Spanish being the next most popular languages)
  • 47% will not use an English language site as an alternative, if the website is not available in their native language
  • After UK and Irish residents, those in the Czech Republic use other languages on the internet the least, followed closely by Italy and Hungary

These figures back up the fact that businesses selling online in the EU need to think multilingually in order to reach consumers, and with a British Chamber of Commerce survey showing that UK small businesses export less than the EU average, it’s high time the UK started embracing the foreign language internet.

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