Last year, I wrote an essay for Multilingual in which I noted that the world’s most multilingual website isn’t Google or Facebook or even Wikipedia.
It is the website of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
As I noted in the essay:
The JW.org website supports more than 675 written languages. And it doesn’t stop at written languages; it also supports more than 90 different sign languages as well as downloadable PDFs in languages ranging from Adyghe to Zazaki, for a total of 941 languages.
Apple, by comparison, supports a mere 34 languages. And Amazon, the company now synonymous with world domination, supports just 15 languages. Based on my studies, the world’s leading brands support an average of 31 languages, adding roughly one new language per year.
Religious leaders understand well the power of language. And so do the tech leaders. Sadly, too many other business leaders have not yet come to this realization.
Here are the top 5 most multilingual websites from the 2019 Web Globalization Report Card:
Notice how precipitously the language curve drops. And if I were to continue this graph it would drop even more, to roughly 40 languages for companies such as Merck, IKEA, Hotels.com, Nikon and Sony. And yet 40 languages is still a significant accomplishment for most organizations. The average number of languages, among the leading global brands, is just shy of 33 languages.
The next great language boom will center around India, but this will take time as even companies such as Amazon and IKEA have been resistant to fully invest in the many official languages of this country.
To learn more about the language leaders, check out the 2019 Web Globalization Report Card.