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7月 4, 2019 |

5 Reasons India Is Key for the Translation Industry 

The next industry trends in translation could come from Asia. Economic growth and consistent social development show that India is key for the translation industry. The country has over 493 million internet users who are craving for content in local languages. Why is this important for translators and their clients? 

India has the second-fastest-growing economy after China. The local population includes millions of young workers and skilled professionals that will make the country highly competitive in the coming decades. Translation in India has been one of the fastest-growing sectors, as more companies are looking to build business opportunities in this land. 

Here are five key reasons India is key for the translation industry. 

1. 80 Percent of Indians Aren’t Fluent in English

India was a British colony, but the majority of the population can’t claim English literacy. Around 125 million Indians, mostly upper-class, speak English. However, as much as 80 percent of the local population isn’t fluent in this language. 

Most Indians are aware of the importance of English. They study and make significant efforts to understand and communicate in this language. For many of them, knowing English is a necessity at work. 

However, searching for brands and buying experiences should bring something more to the table than work duties. As in all other countries, people prefer to look for information about products in their mother tongue.

Companies that are looking to sell in India should be ready to overcome language and cultural barriers. Using English to keep costs low isn’t going to cut it. 

English may be an official language preferred by the elite, but everyday interactions occur in local languages. Brands that want to capture and retain the attention of locals need translation and localization services to increase engagement. 

2. 22 Official Languages Make India Key for the Translation Industry

In India, the local population speaks between 122 and 454 languages. There’s no precise number, as authorities have difficulties in identifying all languages and dialects. Among them, 22 have the status of “scheduled languages” or “languages of the Union.”

The most widely-spoken languages in India are Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Kanada, Malayalam, Odia, and Punjabi. Every language is specific to a region of the country. Depending on where companies wish to expand, they may need to translate into two or more languages from this list. That’s a lot of work for a large number of translators and linguists! 

Hundreds of companies and translation agencies are already providing language services in India. However, as the market evolves, the demand for translation and localization services is expected to grow. 

3. India Is the Largest Democracy in the World

China may be the most populated country, but foreign brands looking to sell here must deal with a “closed” political climate, censorship, and rigid rules. All these barriers make it hard for the small and medium business to enter the local market. 

On the other hand, India has been pushing new regulations that enable foreign brands to operate stores in the country. The market seems ready to embrace the benefits of globalization and keep an open mind about Western values. 

The internet penetration rate has been growing, too. As more people in India gain access to the internet, the demand for content in local languages grows as well. Professionals need information in a wide range of industries, from agriculture to advertising and education. 

The only way to access information in real-time is through translation services. We’re talking about an audience of over half a billion people who will likely have access to the internet by the end of 2019. 

4. India Is an Emerging Superpower

Besides the fastest-growing economy, India has a series of factors that could turn the country into an emerging superpower. The country’s demographics and strategic location in Asia create an ideal framework for growth. 

Judging by the latest trends in technology and energy sourcing, India could become an essential player in these industries at a global level. It’s another reason why India is key to the translation industry and can generate consistent business opportunities.  

Reform is changing the way authorities collaborate with entrepreneurs and more companies will turn their attention to India. They’ll need translation services to overcome language barriers and sell to a population that doesn’t use English for everyday life activities. 

5. $65 Million to Be Invested in Translation

The Government of India has shown interest in the country’s language issues since 1991. The authorities created the Technology Development for Indian Languages (TDIL), in an attempt to develop IT tools in local languages.  

Now, the Government is planning a $65 million investment in translation to provide sci-tech students with resources in their mother tongues. As the internet sees an increased number of articles and podcasts on health and science in Indian languages, the Government identified the need for introducing courses in local languages as well. 

Universities have been offering candidates applying to study medicine, engineering, and other technical courses the possibility to take entrance exams in their mother tongues. However, the number of students using this opportunity was low because classes are taught in English. 

According to the Indian authorities, the translation project will rely on both human and machine translation to improve the science and technology education system. This way, they’ll be able to provide students with a significant amount of updated information in more official languages.

The Takeaway

More Indian companies have switched their content strategies to include regional content in their portfolio. This approach makes room for growth, as it enables brands to reach broad audiences that aren’t fluent in English. This means that the need for content in additional languages to English will grow, with positive effects on the translation industry.