From Thai to Nepali, Walloon to Romanian and 50 More: The ICANN Team Speaks 54 Different Languages
Over the past two decades, in support of our Mission, the ICANN organization has made significant efforts to meet the needs of the Internet’s increasingly multilingual user base. Our achievements are due in part to the formal support from our Language Services team, but also to a diverse workforce spread across 34 countries.
In February 2017, our Human Resources team conducted a short survey to find out how many languages are spoken across the ICANN organization. The results are impressive – although on reflection not so surprising given the diverse team we work with and the range of nationalities and expertise in the organization.
The survey found that members of our staff speak 54 different languages. These languages range from Afrikaans to Zarma, and represent many different countries and cultures worldwide. After our official working language of English, the most widely spoken within the organization are Spanish, French, Chinese Mandarin, Turkish and Italian – with Arabic, German and Japanese close behind. Full details of the report can be found in the chart below.
This expertise is in addition to the formal translation and interpretation services ICANN offers to make content, policy development and meetings more accessible for users who do not speak or are not fluent in English. The work by our Language Services team allows us to provide reports, announcements, blogs, newsletters and more in multiple languages – focused on the core six U.N. languages. Last year, for example, ICANN translated over 51,000 pages of content, totaling more than 15,400,000 translated words. That is a lot of words!
You can find a quick summary of the great work that our Language Services team does here, including our Language Localization Toolkit, if you’re interested in bringing ICANN into your language.
The ICANN organization is committed to its language diversity, as well as to continuing to support the community through our more formal language support. So as we head into ICANN58 in Copenhagen, don’t forget to pick up a headset for live interpretation – or maybe you can ask an ICANN team member if they speak Croatian or Swahili!