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6 Key Trends in Translation Services

Key Trends: The Future for Translation Services

The last decade or so has brought many changes to the translation services sector. CAT tools made our lives immeasurably easier, and improved the speed at which we could complete a project, as well as ensuring consistency throughout a large project. Using a Translation Memory enabled us to guarantee consistency across all projects, and offer more competitive prices to our customers. Machine Translation scared us a bit! And many translators worried that we would be replaced by the rise of the machines… but so far, at least, that has not happened.

It seems even the most comprehensive AI models have been unable to grasp the nuances of human speech patterns, and they make some very silly mistakes, which no human translator would ever make! But the AIs are fast — and with the help of a human translator performing post-editing, we now offer PEMT (Post Editing Machine Translation) as a regular service.

With regard to demand, the popularity of eCommerce has been excellent for us! And as more and more marketers realise the value of proper localisation, multinational companies are finally becoming multilingual and multicultural players. But in our increasingly globalised world, there is no doubt of the need for clear and concise communication. As such, translation services have gained credibility and importance for companies seeking to build a stronger presence and reach a far wider market.

So, what next for the translation services industry? Well, we are considering these key trends moving forward…

Increased use of PEMT

PEMT offers the possibility of much faster turnarounds, which enables dynamic sectors such as youth fashion, gaming and e-commerce to deploy their marketing (and their products) more rapidly.

Currently, most Machine Translation (MT) models have a 60–90% accuracy rate, which is not good enough. However, add a professional translator to the mix and your copy can be market-ready far quicker than if the same translator was starting from scratch. With a market size of USD 1,060 million in 2022, machine translation is certainly not going anywhere, and combined with careful editing by language professionals, will only continue to grow. MT’s bring the speed, and human translators bring cultural sensitivity and a contextual understanding that machines cannot replicate.

Transcreation and localisation

A properly localised website should not read like a translation — it should look and feel as if it has been created for that market. That’s where transcreation comes in. Sometimes simply converting the words isn’t enough, you need to change the references, the style, the imagery and the nuance to engage your new audience.

Transcreation is the process of adapting text or a message from one language and culture to another, while maintaining the impact and intention of the original. A successfully transcreated project should carry the same implications and evoke the same emotions in the target language, and to the target audience, as the original did in the source language. Transcreation can involve entirely replacing copy and/or concepts, not just simply re-writing. Nothing is sacred other than the original intent of the text. Transcreation:

  • Targets specific demographics
  • Raises brand awareness
  • Attracts new business
  • Demonstrates cultural sensitivity and respect for your target audience
  • Locates your company in the new (target) market
  • Increases online engagement
  • Improves SEO
  • Shows existing customers that your business is expanding

Video translation and subtitling 

Video is increasingly dominating on online platforms, which is driving demand for subtitling, dubbing and closed captions translation services. Certainly, YouTube Content Creators who want to go viral (and don’t they all?) are beginning to understand that they need to offer more than just English to achieve that.

eLearning Platforms

Since many of us started working from home, eLearning has had a huge boost. From training courses and help videos, to onboarding a new employee in India — more and companies need their information to be available, and accessible, worldwide. We expect this market to be a key translation industry trend for the rest of the 2020s. According to Forbes, the market for online education services may reach USD 325 billion in 2025.

Language demand

As Asia, Africa and Latin America experience better economic development, demand for languages such as Mandarin, Hindi, Arabic and Portuguese are is increasing. Additionally, our culture is changing — there is more appreciation and respect for local cultures and their languages, and less expectation that ‘everyone should speak English’.

China’s growing middle-class are demanding content in their own language — Mandarin and Cantonese — as is the US Spanish-speaking community. The increase in trade with the Arab world is encouraging companies to market to Arabic-speakers directly. Let’s not forget the economic powerhouse that is Germany — as Billy Brandt famously said “If I’m selling to you, I speak your language. If I’m buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen.” And did you know that Poland is the fastest growing economy in Europe?

Emerging markets in Africa and Brazil are boosting demand for Portuguese and French. And as India’s economy grows, and its workforce become more globalised, there is a need for more Hindi content in business and technology.

The increase in global trade is, in turn, boosting demand for legal and financial translation as there is a growing need for accurate translations of contracts, regulatory documents, and financial reports — all essential for international compliance and business operations.

Multilingual SEO

SEO has been a key factor for many years now — the internet is a noisy place, and it can be hard to get your voice heard. As you localise your website it’s important not to overlook localising your SEO strategy. Researching trending keywords in a market you’re hoping to enter — to secure organic search results — is crucial for success. SEO is of course ‘on-page’: keyword optimisation, alt text and metadata. But it is also becoming useful to consider ‘off-page’ SEO: multilingual link building and review translation.

2025 and Beyond…

An interesting development on the horizon is the possibility of integrating blockchain technology into translation platforms to ensure data security and confidentiality. As more and more of our work happens online, cloud-based management systems are already essential — and must remain secure.

According to the Global News Wire, the global translation services industry is expected to reach a staggering value of USD 53.5 billion by 2032, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.7% from 2022 to 2032. So one thing we can be sure of — we’re going to stay busy! With our blend of specialised technology and professional expertise, we will continue to ensure your translations are accurate, culturally relevant, and delivered on-time!

Contact us to find out more

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