How to say “UX Design” in the 25 most spoken languages

ux-25-top-spoken-languages

Imagine you’re on a plane, and the person next to you wants to know what you do.

If they speak another language, how do you say UX design in their mother tongue?

This got me curious about how to say user experience design in the world’s most spoken languages.

That lead me to do some a lot of research, resulting in this chart. It includes romanizations for pronouncing the translations without a Roman alphabet. (After the chart, I explain how I chose these 25 languages).

LanguageTranslationRomanizationSpeakers
Mandarin Chinese用户体验设计yòng hù tǐ yàn shè jì1.09 billion
EnglishUser experience design983 million
Hindustani (Hindi+Urdu)उपयोगकर्ता अनुभव डिजाइनupyogakrtaa anubhv dijaain544 million
Spanishdiseño de la experiencia del usuario527 million
Arabicتصميم تجربة المستخدمtasmim tajribat almustakhdam422 million
Malayreka bentuk pengalaman pengguna281 million
Russianдизайн пользовательского опытаdizajn pol’zovatel’skogo opyta267 million
Bengaliব্যবহারকারীর অভিজ্ঞতা নকশাByabahārakārīra abhijñatā nakaśā261 million
Portuguesedesign de experiência do usuário229 million
Frenchconception de l’expérience utilisateur229 million
Hausakwarewar mai amfani150 million
Punjabiਉਪਭੋਗਤਾ ਅਨੁਭਵ ਡਿਜਾਈਨUpabhōgatā anubhava ḍijā’īna148 million
Persianطراحی تجربه کاربرtraha tjrbh kearbr135 million
JapaneseユーザーエクスペリエンスデザインYūzāekusuperiensudezain129 million
GermanUser Experience Design129 million
Swahilikubuni uzoefu wa mtumiaji107 million
Teluguయూజర్ అనుభవం డిజైన్Yūjar anubhavaṁ ḍijain92 million
Javanesedesain pengalaman pengguna84 million
Korean사용자 경험 디자인sayongja gyeongheom dijain77 million
Tamilபயனர் அனுபவம் வடிவமைப்புPayaṉar aṉupavam vaṭivamaippu75 million
Marathiवापरकर्ता अनुभव डिझाइनVāparakartā anubhava ḍijhā’ina74 million
Turkishkullanıcı deneyimi tasarımı71 million
Vietnamesethiết kế trải nghiệm người dùng68 million
Italianil design dell’esperienza utenteil design dell’esperienza utente66 million
Thaiการออกแบบประสบการณ์ผู้ใช้Kār xxkbæb pras̄bkārṇ̒ p̄hū̂ chı̂56 million

How were these 25 languages chosen?

I used the List of Languages by Total Number of Speakers from Wikipedia, which pulls data from Ethnologue, a HUGE language resource.

Originally, I wanted to translate the top 100 as identified in the List of Languages by Number of Native Speakers, but stopped halfway when I realized that Google Translate only had about 85 languages. Also, a lot of languages on this list simply did not have translations or lacked an easy-to-find English dictionary (read: I got lazy).

You might have noticed that removed two languages from the list – Wu Chinese and Yue Chinese. Fun fact – even if spoken differently, most Chinese languages and dialects share the same writing system. (E.g. someone from Taiwan may not understand another speaking Cantonese, but they can understand each other through the written language).

Translation is a messy business

Hats off to linguists and translators – language is infinitely complex and hard to wrangle.

Translatr was a helpful tool in multi-selecting languages, so that I could output translations for “user experience design” all at once for these 25 languages.

After this step, I realized that a lot of languages don’t have a Roman alphabet. I wanted to see how they would be pronounced. MyLanguages.org was very helpful for finding a Romanizations and Transliterations…but it couldn’t do the job for half the the languages I had in my list.

(I learned that transliteration was the practice of changing letters & words into corresponding characters of another alphabet or language.)

After searching for individual romanizations/transliterations for a long time, I realized that Google translate had this all along.

ux-25-languages-romanization

noticing this would’ve saved me a LOT of time…

This project turned out to be more fun than I thought – learned a lot about the pains of translation & languages.

I’m sure I’ve made a ton of mistakes. There were lots of data sources with different rankings of the most spoken languages, so look at this only as an approximation. Send me your suggestions if you catch an error ;)

 

About the Author

oz

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Oz first started UX Beginner was a way to document his own journey to become a UX designer. Now the site helps thousands of professionals transition into the user experience field with UX career resources, articles and courses.

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