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April 17, 2018 |

The Future of Translation – A Look at Upcoming Trends

When we talk about future of translation, many people think about robots translating thousands of words in seconds! But is this what is really awaiting us in the next five or ten years?

Technology has already brought about significant changes in the language service industry. Besides the things everybody sees, like Google Translate or Skype’s translation program, there’s a wide range of changes professionals could only have dreamed of about 20 years ago.

Computer Aided Translation (CAT) tools, instant communication, translation memories, and exhaustive glossaries just one click away are just some examples of how technology has made translators’ lives easier in the last two decades.

And the best is yet to come for the future of translation, according to most specialists in the industry. The future of translation is a mix of intelligent tools and subject of matter experts working together to deliver accurate readings for competitive prices. Let’s take a look.

Faster, Cheaper, Global

In the digital era, physical borders don’t affect businesses anymore. Any company large or small can go global. And, the secret of a successful international business lie in quality translation services.

Globalization has generated consistent expansion in the industry–which is expected to reach $45 billion by 2020. Translators must adapt to the growing demand, which means they’ll have to tailor their offer to meet new requirements.

Companies need more than word-to-word translations to conquer new markets. They must look for localization services, a process that goes beyond simple translation.  

The challenge isn’t crossing the language barrier anymore. Brands need to overcome cultural differences to sell outside national borders. Companies need valuable, engaging content, easy to read and to understand by large audiences.

Businesses must adapt their brands to international audiences; they may change their product’s name and reinvent their marketing strategy to connect with people from various cultures.

Everything must happen fast for businesses to stay ahead of competitors. This means that translators and localization engineers in the future of translation must deliver high-quality services as soon as possible, to be able to satisfy both their clients and the clients of their clients.

Besides speed, translators must deal with a second significant element: costs. The size of the industry is growing, but translation services must become cheaper for translators to remain competitive.

With tight deadlines and the need to cut costs, translators must learn to integrate CAT tools in their everyday tasks. The concept of 100 percent human translation (without computer assistance) doesn’t belong to the future. Not for business translation, at least.

It doesn’t mean translators will lose their jobs, though. But, they’ll have to learn to use more than one tool to speed up the translation process.

Fast turnarounds and lower costs, with no effect on quality, are already vital in the industry. Things are going to accelerate even more in the next decade, with the rise of more intelligent tools. New features are going to make translations easier, faster, and more accurate.

Automated Translation Will Be the New Standard

Automation is a reality in the translation industry. It allows language services providers to optimize workflows and to save time and money with every new project. Many companies already automate parts of the process, but the future of translation brings even more automated translation tools to the table.

From software that converts file types to Computer Aided Translation (CAT), technology helps translators to reduce the time needed for each task during the translation process. This way, experts can focus on the creative part, instead of pushing files back and forth or wasting time with translating technical terms.

Companies must integrate a content management system, to reduce turnarounds. This software will become more intuitive, to facilitate all operations during the translation process.

All the features you need will be one click away:

  • A translation memory containing useful data about terminology and technical vocabulary
  • Easier access to all previous work and multiple resources to collect information
  • Multilingual SEO, which allows you to integrate local keywords in your content
  • Tracking, to keep you updated on progress 

Such tools substitute emails, manual transfers, and file transfers for good. This way, there’s less time wasted on repetitive tasks and less room for human errors.

Proofreading tools are going to become easier to use as well, increasing accuracy and reducing the time needed to check every translation.

Translators Will Use Artificial Intelligence

Google has improved its original translation software significantly using artificial intelligence. And translation companies will integrate similar software into their workflows, to deliver precise translations faster, for broader audiences.

At the moment, machine translation (MT) still has difficulties with translating into many of the 7,000 languages and dialects. Mastering artificial intelligence and deep learning will create a new generation of translation software. One that delivers more accurate versions of the original content, in more languages.

The future of translation will cover more cultures, as the internet continues to penetrate in emerging countries worldwide. Besides the top languages for translation, the software will have to provide accurate solutions to communicate with audiences who speak less known dialects.

The software of the future is easy to use, has a minimal design, and can connect in seconds with complementary technology. Translators won’t need IT specialists to provide consultancy, as the software will have high usability and an intuitive interface.

As machines improve, translators will have to adapt their skills to deliver customized services, such as a deep understanding of the target public, which allows them to adjust the translated content for segmented audiences.

We’ll Have More Secured Cloud Environments

The future of translation is in the cloud. Many language services providers are still hesitant when it comes to SaaS and web-based technology. But, the times when you could keep all your information safe on your servers are long gone.

It’s time to embrace file sharing and cloud-based technology. These tools allow you to communicate faster, improve workflows, and protect your documents from cyber attacks.

Working on the web is going to be the new ‘normal’ in the industry. Your translators from any part of the world will access the documents easier, in a safe environment, with no need to download data in personal computers that are vulnerable and easy to break through to access to sensitive data.

The Future of Translation is Today!

Many of these changes are already here. Companies large and small are implementing new tools to increase productivity and reduce turnarounds.

Technology has brought many opportunities for language services providers. While AI tools are still in their infancy, high-performing CAT tools are already helping translators in many parts of the world.

Embracing change is part of progress. So, you’ll need to start implementing new technologies to take your translation business to the next level.