All News

February 18, 2020 |

How Globalization Influences Translation Trends and the Language Industry 

Translators and language services providers have been making communication possible at global levels for thousands of years. However, it’s only in the last few decades that the industry has boomed into what it is today. Today, translation trends go hand in hand with how globalization changes the way people live and do business.

The language industry is worth approximately $49.6 billion, a figure that is expected to grow thanks to an increasing number of companies getting ready to expand to global levels. People worldwide are more connected than ever before, and they need language service providers to eliminate cultural and language barriers in communication. 

As we step into a new decade, let’s take a look at some translation trends that we can expect in the next few years. 

High Growth Rates

People and companies are creating content at the highest rates ever. Moreover, the digitization of content has made it easier for information to travel globally and reach an impressive number of people across countries and regions. 

The only things that stand between content creators and their multinational audiences are the language and cultural barriers. As a result, the demand for translated content has been growing. 

Brands, entrepreneurs, and even artists who choose to translate and localize their content to add language options are more likely to experience growth. As they open up to a new public, they gain trust and influence in local markets and, eventually, add revenue streams to their existing business. 

Language service providers have expanded their services to cover many types of translation services. Now, translation trends have changed to include subtitling, dubbing services, video games, apps, and software localization, to mention a few. 

From manufacturers and the gaming industry to media companies, everybody is looking to use content to win market share worldwide. The amount of content is expected to grow and diversify. This means that linguists and experts in the industry will have to keep growing and improve their offering to keep up with content creators. 

Increased Demand for Asian Languages

Asia is home to more than 4.6 billion people, and the continent is now at the center of global economic activity. As we enter the “Asian century,” more companies will be looking into business opportunities in the east. 

Asia is about to host half of the world’s middle class–people with increased purchasing power, who are willing to pay more to ensure that they get better products and services. As a consequence, the demand for Asian languages in business will continue to grow. It’s the only way companies will convince people to make purchases.  

While China is the main go-to-market for many brands, companies don’t stop at localization for Mandarin (and Simplified Chinese). The demand for native Asian linguists will grow for Hindi, Japanese, and Korean speakers too. 

The development of Asian economies will continue to influence translation trends. The more Asian economies grow, the higher the number of languages to be covered by language service providers. Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Bangladesh are only some of the possible appealing markets of the coming years. 

In many of these countries, a significant amount of the population speaks English. However, the real winners will be the companies who are willing to communicate in local languages and dialects as well. That’s because they’ll use languages that clients are more comfortable using in everyday life than English. 

More Effective Machine Translation

There’s no doubt; globalization and global economic trends are changing the language industry in more ways than one. Not only does globalization increase the demand for language services, but it also influences the pace at which translators should work and deliver content. At this rhythm, language service providers will either have to push their translators to work faster or hire more people. 

However, linguists and language experts need to become faster without sacrificing quality. The key is using machine translation to streamline processes and ensure consistency. 

As a consequence, the machine translation market has been developing hand in hand with the language service industry. Companies in this sector have been investing in research and new technology to come up with tools that can help experts to speed up their processes and deliver better work at the same time. 

Technology has made it possible for software creators to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop more powerful algorithms. Neural machine translation, for instance, is no longer doing a word-to-word translation but considers entire sentences when performing the task. 

Machines start learning how to translate based on context, which makes it easier for linguists to come up with the best choice of words and deliver top-notch content in target languages. 

Neural machine translation allows sustainable development in the language service industry, as it helps providers to enrich their offerings and reach out to more potential clients. It also improves the quality of work, without putting more pressure on translators.  

The Rise of Transcreation and Localization

Consumers have high expectations for brand content. They want quality, accuracy, and valuable information, regardless of the language they speak. Poorly-written, irrelevant content will only keep potential buyers away. 

That’s why no one does word-to-word translations. Brands need to transcreate and localize their content and products to thrive in local markets. Apps, platforms, software, websites, marketing materials, product documentation; everything needs to be written in local languages and “speak” as natives do. 

Sloppy content only generates frustration and pushes potential customers towards competitors. Globalization has opened all markets and created infinite business opportunities. At the same time, it has made competition fierce. When you enter a new market, you compete with local and global brands alike, so you can’t afford to show up unprepared. 

Final Thoughts on Translation Trends

Translation trends have been changing lately, to keep up with how globalization and economic growth increase the need for language services. Companies need translation and localization to overcome the challenges that globalization creates in business environments and beyond. 

Working with language service providers can help companies keep a consistent brand voice across multinational audiences. It also ensures that businesses are more prepared for global expansion and register steady growth in local markets.