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I'm looking for an interesting metric regarding browsers and languages. I'm looking for, broken down by country, the average number of languages a user's browser has loaded. So, for example, in Canada there are two languages spoken, French and English, so do users generally have one language loaded, or two? The people of central Europe generally speak several languages, so do they generally have more than two languages loaded into their browser? Here in the U.S. it's rare for a user to have more than one language loaded into their browser.

  • I'm not sure if its possible because first you'll need a ridiculously popular webpage that everyone visits then on that webpage, have a script that grabs the language info then store the counts on the server. There's a difference between loaded languages and used languages. It's possible the browser loaded 100 languages and is only using one. – Mike Jun 11 '15 at 23:14
  • It is not a language, but a character set. All browsers at least have the same core character sets by default which are just a few. What is it you are trying to know or do?? This is one of those sideways questions. – closetnoc Jun 11 '15 at 23:42
  • @Mike "you'll need a ridiculously popular webpage" - Or a common service that lots of webpages use, like GA, Statcounter, etc. etc. – MrWhite Jun 12 '15 at 13:22
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    @closetnoc I think the OP is referring to the number of languages that a user's browser is willing to "accept". ie. As identified by the Accept-Language HTTP request header. (?) I think the term "loaded" is perhaps a bit misleading. – MrWhite Jun 12 '15 at 13:37
  • @w3d Okay. Get it now... ;-) – closetnoc Jun 12 '15 at 15:02
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There is currently no form of overall metric which identifies average browser languages by country. The issue here is that while the Accept-Language lets the server know what the users preferred language is (browser settings) this is more used by some websites for localisation but not always. Additionally using the UTF-8 character set you can just about represent any character in any language without worrying about the Accept-Language or for that matter any header sent by the browser.

As an example look no further than Google translate. Now I don't have any language packs installed on my computer (Windows 7, Google Chrome) but if I do an English to Arabic translation using Google Translate I can see the Arabic text clear as day with no additional languages needing to be loaded to the site.

English: hi how are you
Arabic: اهلا كيف انت

If you want to know how many browsers support multi-lingual documents then the answer is just about all as most browsers (and all major ones) support UTF-8 which is a multi-lingual supported character set, and this is set by the server by adding the <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;charset=UTF-8"> to your document head.

As you can see this would preclude any sort of analytics on the percentage of browsers by country that support different languages. A better question would be what languages to browsers request as a percentage based on country and the answer I'm afraid is it all depends on the users preference.

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