2019-2020 Trends

December 11, 2019 |

As 2019 comes to a close, we can see it’s been a year of MORE. As we take a look at the trends in translation services that were predicted at the beginning of the year, we can see how they played out.

More Content

To start with, there was the prediction of an increase in the amount of content to be translated and digitized. This isn’t surprising at all, given the overall surge in the volume of content being produced these days. For organizations with consumers who speak different languages, they have no choice but to translate and localize content if they want to adequately serve their customers.

Some of the ways they’re doing this includes subtitling for videos, customizing the voice overs for e-learning modules, and localizing software for mobile apps and games.

Many companies weren’t shooting any video content two or three years ago. And now some of the more prolific ones are releasing videos five days a week.

Back in the day, most learning took place in a classroom-type setting. Presenters showed up in person and spoke in one language. Attendees sat in the same room together at a set time. Today, e-learning allows people to watch and learn at their own pace, from their own place, and at a time that’s most convenient for them. It only makes sense that the content is translated so they can now also learn in the language in which they feel most comfortable.

Translating all this electronic content might seem easy and straightforward enough, but as we discussed in the article about gaming and VR software, there’s a lot more to it than simply translating words from one language to another.

More Languages

While English is still a top language for communicating, other languages are gaining popularity too. And there’s a demand for translation into more languages than ever before.

In terms of e-commerce, Argentina, India, Russia, Brazil, and China are the fastest growing markets. Because most consumers won’t even consider buying a product or service that isn’t presented in their native language, it’s imperative for sellers to customize their online shopping experiences.

Spanish is the native language of 20+ countries, including almost all the Latin American countries, as well as Spain. Even in the United States, more than 37 million people speak Spanish as their first language.

Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world. A billion (yes, with a B!) people worldwide speak Chinese.

German is the fourth most-used language online, after English, Russian, and Spanish.

Arabic is the official language of 28 countries in the Middle East and Africa. With a fast-growing market of wealthy consumers and the rising use of the Internet there, the Arabic-speaking world holds a lot of potential.

Portuguese is of course the native language of Portugal. But also of the largest country in Latin America – Brazil. It’s also spoken in some parts of Africa. Its importance in business and international relations is growing quickly.

French has been, and continues to be, a very popular language in the business world. It’s the official language of important international organizations and is spoken natively by more than 75 million people in almost 40 countries.

Japanese is spoken by 130 million people. It’s especially important in the worlds of research, finance, science, technology, and electronics.

Russian is the native language of more than 150 million speakers and an additional 100 million people speak it as their second language. It’s the second most used language online, after English.

Hindi is spoken in the second most populated country in the world. India represents a very large and fast-growing market and business opportunity.

More Machines

As machine translation becomes more accurate, demand for and use of it increases. By using algorithms to learn language conventions and nuances, neural machine translation has become much more efficient in translating complex languages. Combined with human post-editing, these translations are now especially culturally accurate.

More Transcreation

Of course you’re familiar with translation services. Traditionally, that’s been taking words from one language and replacing them with the same or similar words in another language.  With the rise of online content and marketing campaigns, transcreation has become more common and important.

Transcreation is a mix of translating and creative writing. The goal is to keep the intent, tone, and style intact and make the information read as if it was originally created in the translated language.

More than simply translators, transcreators are creative, market-focused copywriters who are culturally knowledgeable. Often they can help with adapting the look and feel of your materials, as well as the words.

More specialization

Translation is no longer a one-size-fits-all business, if it ever even was. More companies and individual translators are choosing to specialize by industry. These four industries are seeing the most growth.

  • Legal – for translation and localization of international contracts.
  • Medical for healthcare providers, doctors, and pharmaceutical companies.
  • Business and Finance – primarily in the areas of marketing, finance, and corporate communications.
  • Industry and Technical – for software, science, and tech documentation needs.

More Corporate Globalization

Trade and the flow of people, information, and capital has increased considerably. For companies expanding in international markets, localization is an important part of gaining local community acceptance.

As we’ve mentioned above, an increase in globalization means translating an increasing amount of content into more languages than ever before.

More Voice Search

Getting help from Siri or Alexa or Google Assistant or Cortana employs audio technology that uses voice SEO. That technology requires a different type of translation. To create these translations, translators become more like interpreters, taking peoples’ actual speech and accounting for contextual vocabulary and phrases.

Voice search changes and complicates website translation because typing information into a search engine is different from how people speak in conversation. For translators, that means going beyond simply translating and moving to optimizing target-language keyword research in order for a client’s information to come up in a voice search.

At Alpha Omega Translations, we see all these trends continuing well into the next year and beyond. As your organization evolves, let us help you adapt to these changing translation needs. Access our free e-books and guides HERE.

Category: Translation Services, Translation Tools

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