Things the world wants to know how to do

December 29, 2012
December 29, 2012

Google published its annual Zeitgeist survey a couple of weeks ago, which tracks the year’s most popular searches in different countries. It breaks them down by category—people, movies, shopping, etc.—and for most countries, one of the categories is “How to…?” We took the top result for each country that had this category and translated them where necessary. (In a couple of cases, we weeded out spurious results caused by quirks of language.)

There’s some interesting variation. The most pressing challenges for many nationalities are kissing or slimming, but the Japanese are evidently obsessed with making their cellphones last longer, Colombians with cupcakes, and Russians with not being quite so mean to each other.

Most popular Google searches beginning “How to…”

Argentina: how to update Facebook
Australia: how to love
Brazil: how to remove Facebook
Canada: how to rock
Chile: how to make a family tree
Colombia: how to make cupcakes
Czech Republic: how to lose weight
Denmark: how to kiss
Finland: how to get a fever [for the purposes of sick leave]
France: how to lose weight
Hungary: how to kiss
Ireland: how to draw
Israel: how to make money
Italy: how to have sex
Japan: how to save [battery] power
Kenya: how to abort
Mexico: how to vote
Netherlands: how to survive
New Zealand: how to screenshot
Nigeria: how to love
Norway: how to write
Poland: how to delete Facebook
Portugal: how to lose weight
Romanian: how to kiss
Russian: how to become nicer
Senegal: how to address an envelope
Singapore: how to rock
Slovakia: how to pick up babes [i.e., women]
South Africa: how to kiss
Spain: how to install WhatsApp
Sweden: how to make out [i.e., kiss]
Ukrainian: how to lose weight
United Kingdom: how to draw
United States: how to love

After this, you might want to look at our rundown of the most popular Wikipedia pages in 35 languages.

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