Since 1980, the number of Spanish speakers in the US has grown by 233%. There are 41M native Spanish speakers and another 12M bilingual Spanish speakers, which means the US is the second-largest Spanish-speaking population in the world, following Mexico.
When I was looking up these stats, Google suggested I look up “Is Spanish an official language in the US?” I was curious, so I did. Turns out, in some areas, Spanish is an official language. For example, in Puerto Rico, there are two official languages, English and Spanish, but Spanish is the principal official language.
This got me thinking. Since most of the world is online, reading articles or posting their thoughts, what language are they using on the internet? According to Statista, Spanish is the third most common language on the web. Here’s the breakdown:
If you are a digital marketer like me or someone who uses the internet, you may be wondering: How is the internet changing language? Let’s find out!
The Internet and Language
Most platforms, from social media to email, are international platforms that are multilingual. Take Twitter, for example. Almost 50% of tweets are not in English. What’s interesting about Twitter is that, because of the character count, you can say a lot more in a tweet written in Chinese characters than in the Latin alphabet. So, depending on the language a user speaks, each platform can be used in different ways.
On top of that, technology is changing how we speak. I sometimes find myself saying LOL because I am so used to writing it as a quick response in a text. So many new words have come from the internet. For example, Google is no longer just the name of a platform; it’s a verb. Or the word: troll. That doesn’t only mean the creature that lives in the woods. It also means someone who “makes a deliberately offensive or provocative online post with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them.” But that word is no longer just used on the internet. Similar to LOL or TBH, we use internet slang ‘in real life’ or IRL.
The internet is definitely changing the way we speak, but is it also changing the languages we speak?
Yes! It is. Today, you can learn a language online. With an app like Duolingo, you can learn the basics of a new language or improve the skills you already have digitally. Because you can connect with someone on the other side of the world in a few seconds online, people are certainly inspired to learn at least a few words of a different language.
Bilingual Digital Marketing
So, what does all of this mean for digital marketing? It means it’s time to market in more than one language! For Colibri Digital Marketing, that means we are becoming an English and Spanish-speaking firm, and we recommend you do the same! The future is bilingual, so our work should be as well.
Being bilingual means you can connect on a deeper level with more people and be a part of the global conversation. As more people are becoming bilingual, you need to keep up. At this moment in time, language is changing rapidly due to the internet. We can connect with more people and understand each other since some internet slang is universal.
You can start by installing a language plugin on your website to translate all your pages or post on your social media in both English and Spanish. But, if you are not comfortable with another language, you may need to take a class or work with a firm that has native speakers.
Colibri, A Bilingual Digital Marketing Firm
We are proud to be able to serve a larger community since becoming a bilingual firm, and we’d love to serve you! To learn more, schedule a 30-minute complimentary strategy session by clicking the button below.