With 2018 ahead of us, the translation industry is picking up pace as more multinational companies are placing greater value on translation.
In fact, translation was one of the top services demanded in 2017, and it looks like it will be even more dominant in the year ahead. For example, translation of e-learning courses into different languages is a trend that occupied many translation services providers in 2017.
Industry growth projection, measured from 2010 to 2020 is expected to be around 42 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics. By the end of this year, the projection is that the translation industry will be a $37 billion industry.
Europe and Asia continue to be major markets for translation, as well as emerging markets, such as Africa and the Middle East. The United States remains the biggest single market for translation.
Translation of Asian languages, such as Chinese, Korean and Japanese will continue to have a high demand, followed by Arabic, African and other Middle Eastern languages.
Given these scenarios, it's interesting to see what the translation industry can expect in the coming year.
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Translation Industry Trends
Various industry experts are making predictions about what to expect in different industry niches. Translation may not be as visible as other industries but it's a service industry that is utilized by all companies with a global presence and those that deal with multilingual audiences.
Individuals also have a use for translation. Many areas of translation are expected to come to the fore in 2018. Let's take a closer look.
1. Prominence of Video Translation
Videos have been around for a long time. As more people utilize videos for various purposes, such as e-learning, social media and various other channels, the opportunity to have them translated into other languages becomes essential. Expect a higher demand for video translation in 2018.
YouTube alone receives about 300 hours of video each minute and 70 percent of YouTube users do not live in the U.S. The majority of them do not speak English.
The data shows that video localization is increasing. It can definitely help content and video marketing. Companies will soon follow the trend of customizing the language and content of their videos to reach more audiences.
2. Subtitling, Dubbing and Voice-Over
Other options to explore for video and content marketing are voice-overs, dubbing or subtitling. Voice-overs and subtitles are cheaper than dubbing, but still needs to be done by professional translators for accuracy.
Data tracking from management tools showed that younger audiences prefer to hear the original language in the video and prefer to read the subtitles, as it gives them the chance to learn a new language.
This is another avenue for the translation industry that will have a bigger demand in the coming year. If you notice, videos on Twitter and Facebook have ''auto play'' features.
Most people turn down the auto play function while some allow the video to play without sound. Captioning will allow the viewers to read the message even if the audio is turned off.
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4. Further Development of Translation-Based Apps
Although this is not seen as a replacement for human translation, apps that can help people understand the common sentences and phrases in other languages are expected to be in vogue in the translation industry from 2018 and onward.
5. E-learning Courses in Different Languages
Internet service is getting more widespread. As companies continue to explore other cultures and reach out to wider audiences, the need to train foreign staff becomes critical.
Translating e-learning courses to make them accessible in other languages is not only economical but also efficient, as training would be consistent across different cultures. This will be a major growth area in the translation industry in 2018.
6. Higher Demand for Machine Translation Tools
Machine translation tools help translators facilitate their work. These are productivity tools, such as the ''translation memory tools'' that ensure consistency in terminology that are repeated in the project.
7. Translation Will be a Necessity
Geographical borders are getting narrower due to social networking and the Internet. As organizations continue their global operations, translation will not only be done ''as needed'' but part of the business plan and process.
Demand for Translation in the U.S.
Recession made a dent in the translation industry but it was not a huge negative impact as business partners from different cultures continued to communicate with each other.
That being said, it is expected that the translation industry will reach new heights in 2018. As it continues to be a multi-billion industry, it is inevitable that newly trained workers will be required by the various language services companies in the United States alone.
Demand for the translation industry will remain constant in the U.S. because its immigrant population is sizable. Transferring from their country to the U.S. requires documents to be translated.
Local communities remain diverse. While many learn English, community members prefer to speak in their first language, especially when they are together. Doing business with them is easier if paperwork is translated in their own language.
Generally, legal and healthcare systems will be the most common fields where translation will be prominent.
The increase in U.S. exports to Europe, Canada and South America is also one of the reasons why translation will remain a big industry in the country.
These are just some of the many exciting things in store for the translation industry in 2018 while it continues to build upon the progress and developments that happened in 2017.
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Inclusion of Translation Services in Annual Budget Planning
With the increasing importance of the translation industry in business, it is practical to include the service in the annual company budget. Professional translation should definitely be a part of your business processes. Here's why:
- Translation is no longer about written information alone. You have to think strategically. Short and full length videos are increasingly utilized by many companies to widen their reach and target online and mobile audiences wherever they are.
- If you are to engage both active and passive consumers, use videos, which you can translate into other languages. Videos are more interesting and immediately arresting and there are several online platforms that you could use to grab consumers' attention.
- Have your website and product information localized one language at a time. When you are dealing with an international market, it is important to reach out to them in their native language.
- Many companies have discovered that professional translation and localization contributed greatly to their success in foreign markets. Continue the trend and add more languages to your site to reach more audiences. If you target one language each quarter, your website will be available in four languages in 2018.
- Although machine translation is a work in progress, it is far from being useful for full document translation. Human translations done by native speakers of any target language remain an excellent choice. Some translation apps appear in the market, but their functions and capabilities to intelligently translate texts in their proper context are still limited and not consistent with the work of professional human translators.
- While you are busy making your business plans for 2018, consider the special translation services your company will need for the coming year. Each type of translation work requires subject matter expertise.
- If you're dealing with multilingual audiences, you are likely to require legal translation, financial translation, marketing translation and other forms of translation services. The types of language services you require will depend on your industry. Thus, make a list of the specialist services you would likely require in the coming year so it is easier to find the suitable translation provider.
- In line with this, it would be better to choose the translation company today so that you can begin the year right. Translation work is complex and requires time. Choosing the right company requires that you find about their reputation, track record, past achievements, client roster, their specializations and the languages they work with.
- For 2018, think about targeting developing markets. The growth rate of Internet access in the Middle East and Africa is astounding. This means that they could be markets worth exploring. Think of making your site available in less common languages to make the linguistic divide narrower. It's one of the aspects of translation that will see further growth in the new year.
2018 promises to be more exciting and rewarding for the translation industry as a whole. Translation services providers and clients are going to work together more to bridge the language gap.
Companies are likely to utilize translation extensively to explore, capture and serve new markets. They will be employing more translation options aside from document translation.
Translation companies are ready to adapt new technologies to make their translation work faster, more accurate and consistent across all platforms.