The Best Foreign Languages for International Marketing Campaigns

It’s a common misconception that most of the world has some understanding of English. As much as 75% of the global population can’t speak English at all. If you’re looking to expand your marketing efforts into new territories, investing time and resources into translating your campaign content is a must. Thinking about making waves in Europe? German classes will go a long way in ensuring you achieve your objectives. Unsure of which languages to target for future marketing activities?

Below, we explore some of the most important languages you should be looking to translate your campaigns into for maximum reach and international appeal.

Computer on the desk

1. Chinese (Mandarin)

With more than 1.4 billion people calling it home, China boasts the largest population by far. However, just a fraction of this population can speak English with any degree of fluency. Despite Chinese speakers making up a significant slice of the global population, only around 2% of online content is written exclusively in Chinese. If you’re looking to target the Chinese market in the years ahead, it’s vital you invest in quality content written exclusively for native speakers.

The market potential of China is enormous, with the e-commerce sector alone worth more than half a trillion US dollars. More brands than ever before are looking to China when considering expansion, meaning Mandarin is a must-have for any marketing campaign.

2. Spanish

Spanish is spoken in more than 30 countries internationally, with more than 425 million people speaking it as their mother tongue. With more than 110 million speakers, Mexico is home to the largest number of Spanish users. However, it’s also heavily represented in the United States, with around 35 million being able to speak it fluently. Any marketing campaign looking to target audiences in Latin America needs to be able to deploy localized content in Spanish to succeed.

3. French

Spoken in no less than 53 countries and territories, French is one of the most commonly used languages on Earth. It’s estimated that there are around 274 million native speakers worldwide, with French-speaking populations spread across five different continents. It’s also well represented online, with around 4% of all web content written in French. Although around 39% of French nationals can speak English with a good degree of fluency, many French speakers based elsewhere in the world have a poor grasp of English. As such, if you’re looking to target French-speaking markets, you must invest in localized content.

4. German

Book on the desk

Germany is the official language of several European countries. It’s also widely spoken across the world, with significant German-speaking populations in more than 25 countries. Because of Germany’s economic supremacy, it’s a useful language to have at your disposal for marketing efforts aimed at European audiences.

5. Arabic

Many marketers overlook the importance of Arabic as a language. However, Arabic is one of the most common languages around. As of 2022, it’s spoken in dozens of countries across Asia and the Middle East, with around 270 million people using it as a first language. The economic potential of the Middle East is incredibly lucrative, while there’s an increasing appetite for news and current affairs content written in Arabic for local audiences.

With Arabic set to become one of the most important world languages in the next few years, context and language need to be carefully considered when delivering marketing campaigns to Arabic-speaking audiences.