Translation services are everywhere around you. The person sitting across from you might be an interpreter. With the demand for translators rising with every passing hour, the language services industry is getting more diverse and entertaining by the day.
When most people imagine a translator, they conjure up images of dusty old women sitting in their pajamas, with bed hair and social pariah. While some translators might fit that description, most of them don’t.
The average freelance translator translates anywhere between 300,000 and 1,000,000 words per year. We bet there are a bunch of other interesting facts you didn’t know about the industry. That being said, here are some incredible, somewhat lesser-known facts about the language services industry that you probably didn’t know!
#1 The Language Services Industry Is Well-Worth Investing In
If you’re an investor looking for the best value for money, the translation industry might be one of your best options. Statista stated that the overall language industry was estimated at $49.6 billion in 2020. It has the potential of reaching $56 billion by the end of 2021. If that’s not growth and reliable investment, we don’t know what is.
#2 Translation Is Celebrated Across the Globe
Every year, on 30 September, the world celebrates International Translation Day. This day honors the hard work of those employed in the language services industry and promotes their expertise.
#3 Even Supercomputers Can’t Compete with Interpreters
Simultaneous interpreting is something that only humans can successfully do. This sees the brain processing two languages simultaneously while taking emotions, tone, and context into account to translate them into one language from another and back. Interpreters understand context along with attitude nuances and interpret it correctly without disrupting the flow of conversation. Even a supercomputer can’t run this number of complex processes at the same time!
#4 One Word Can Make or Break
Did you know that the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima was due to one mistranslated word? The unfortunate word was “mokusatu,” which the Japanese Prime Minister uttered when asked about Japan’s surrender. Today, we all understand that the word means “no comment.” Still, back then, it was mistranslated as “not worthy of comment,” unfortunately provoking retaliation and the bomb being dropped ten days later.
#5 Women Didn’t Always Have a Respected Place in the Language Services Industry
It wasn’t until the 19th century that female translators started signing their work in their own name. Up until then, they used pseudonyms to avoid ridicule or rejection of their work.
#6 We Have a Patron Saint
Saint Jerome is the translation industry’s own patron saint. He became the guardian of the profession after translating the Bible into Latin in the 5th century.
#7 Arabic Is One of the Hardest Languages to Translate
Linguists and translators have been debating the topic for ages, and it is inherently difficult to answer the question surrounding the most challenging language. It really depends on what languages you grew up around, but according to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), here are the four hardest languages to master (ranging from hardest to easiest):
#8 Translation Services Are at the Heart of Global Business
Formal translation services solidified and expanded when industrialization began in the mid-1700s. As countries across the world communicated more and more, the need for language services grew. Today, the language service industry helps companies and individuals from all corners of the earth build relationships in a fast-paced, globalized world where accurate communication is essential. Mechanized translations will never take the place of human linguists and translators, as messages will be lost in translation without adding the human element to the equation.
If you need translation or localization services, Day Translations is ready to help. Our teams of expert translators, interpreters, and dedicated linguists can translate any content, giving you the power to communicate with your global audience, regardless of what you have to say!