is the most common word translated to English with Google

when looking only at nouns and their adjectives
A collaboration between
Google News Lab
Visual Cinnamon

How much does the translation behavior of a language indicate about its culture? Do German speakers seek the same words translated as the Spanish? To investigate, we've analyzed all the single word translations of nouns1 & adjectives2 into English delivered through Google Translate for 10 of the most popular languages on Google.

We find that, for example, the most common noun translated from Russian into English is mama, while for French the translation of bien is very popular. Scroll down to learn more about these and other languages; from the 10 most popular words to the similarities between them.

1 e.g. house, dog, place
2 e.g. easy, intelligent, adorable

The most translated nouns or adjectives per language

Let's start by focusing on the most translated word for 10 different languages first. There are some rather odd ones that you wouldn't have guessed, such as colleague in Dutch. Even more strange is the fact that it's almost the same word in Dutch: collega, just missing a u and e. Maybe knowing where to place all those vowels compared to the simpler Dutch version makes it difficult ;)

Wonderfully, 6 out of the 10 languages have a positive vibe going on, with 3 of them wanting to know the translation for good while the most often translated word across all languages is beautiful, or, as they say in German, schon

Connecting all the languages together is a string of the top translated words across all languages, starting with beautiful at the top before going through several days of the week and on. The general trend remains a positive one, with love, great & happy placed very high.

Hover over or click onTab a language "circle" to see the worldwide search interest & related topics of the English word between 2012 and 2016

The most often translated word into English for each language
Tab a language circle to see the word's trends
worldwide search interest
worldwide related queries & topics
The top 10 per language

Translations for you, hello and thank you into English are three of the most requested words in any language, which isn't unexpected. By focusing on the nouns & adjectives instead, we can get a glimpse into how different non-native English speakers use this language in their everyday lives.

Diving a bit deeper, we're now focusing on the 10 most translated words per language, which reveal even more interesting differences between the languages. The days of the week are quite popular, especially in Spanish & Italian. And for French, monsieur is on 6th place, which Google translates to gentleman, quite fitting for their culture.

Click onTab a mini language circle further below to see it rotate into place in the big circle, thereby revealing its top 10.

The top 10 words that are translated from all 10 languages combined into English
Click onTab a different language to see its top 10
Similarity between Languages

Now that we've read some of the most translated words for different languages and seen that they can be quite different, what about their similarities? For example, the Spanish top 10 has four words in common with both Portuguese and Italian (although perhaps not surprising since the languages are similar). Russian, on the other hand, is most similar to Polish. While Japanese is quite dissimilar from all others; no word from the Japanese top 10 is even present in the overall top 10.

In the network below each word from the top 10 that is similar between two languages is represented by a line. Click onTab a word to move it to the center which reveals all the words that language has in common with all others.

The similarities between the top 10 words per language
Click onTab an outside circle to move it to the center