The multilingual blogosphere

Everyone knows that the blogosphere continues to grow, still doubling in size every six months or so, maintaining a consistent three-year growth trend. But figures so far tend to relate to English-language blogs only.

So it’s good to see some stats today from Dave Sifry at Technorati that indicate the scope of the blogosphere in languages other than English.

There’s no better way to illustrate this than with this graph (click for bigger image):

Blogosphere: posts by language March 2006

The top three languages – Japanese (37%), English (31%) and Chinese (15%).

This doesn’t tell you anything on numbers as the latest growth stats do (35 million blogs and counting). And it comes with signficant caveats on the accuracy of the language percentage splits and how the splits were calculated.

But it’s worthwhile to take note from these as the first good indicators from Technorati – who has credibility from their analysis work to date – of what’s happening in the blogosphere with other languages.


  • The blogosphere is multilingual, and deeply international
  • English, while being the language of the majority of early bloggers, has fallen to less than a third of all blog posts in April 2006
  • Japanese and Chinese language blogging has grown significantly
  • Chinese language blogging, while continuing to grow on an absolute basis, has begun to decline as an overall percentage of the posts that Technorati tracks over the last 6 months
  • Japanese, Chinese, English, Spanish, Italian, Russian, French, Portuguese, Dutch, and German are the languages with the greatest number of posts tracked by Technorati
  • The Korean language is underrepresented in this analysis
  • Language breakdown does not necessarily imply a particular country or regional breakdown

Sifry’s post also has updated information on the growth of tagging:

  • Technorati now tracks more than 100 Million author-created tags and categories on blog posts
  • The rel-tag microformat has been adopted by a number of the large tool makers, making it easy for people to tag their posts. About 47% of all blog posts have non-default tags or categories associated with them.

Sifry’s Alerts | State of the Blogosphere, April 2006 Part 2: On Language and Tagging

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.