It is an exciting time for the translation industry with many factors affecting its growth and diversity. Globalisation through internet usage, new technology, growth in foreign markets, not to mention the political changes surrounding Brexit are all having an important impact. In our first blog of 2018, eSense Translations reviews how these factors could affect our industry in 2018.
Globalisation through increased online connections
In 2017, it was cited that over half the world’s population (51.7%) now have access to the internet. And through the development of improved search engines and social media, this has meant the world is more connected than ever.
A business’ customer base is no longer limited to those in the local vicinity, but can be opened up to the whole world with a little IT know-how.
This has been huge for the translation industry, as of course doing business with foreign markets leads to the increased need for interpreting and translation services.
Following on from this trend is the development in the need for personalisation. In today’s world, we are bombarded with adverts on TV, the radio and of course online; so much so that we are becoming immune to their effects and often disregard them.
Marketers have therefore needed to find ways to engage with their audience more effectively. One increasing trend in the advertising industry is personalisation of marketing messages. That is finding out more about your customer and designing messages to appeal to them more specifically.
Speaking to a customer in their own language therefore is essential in this personalisation process. Research from the Common Sense Advisory showed that 72.4% of consumers surveyed were more likely to buy products in their native language. Businesses are becoming more aware of this fact and are undertaking translation of their communication to enable them to be successful in foreign markets.
Widespread use of social media
Social media is now one of the main ways we spend our time online. eSense Translations has written previously about how social media usage, once mainly used in English, is now used frequently in many languages.
And as I am sure you are aware, it is not just individuals using social media to communicate with friends and family, businesses have realised the huge potential social media has in connecting with their audiences.
This, therefore, is another contributing factor to the increase in demand for translation services. Businesses are posting content often daily and want to engage with their foreign audiences.
eSense Translations works not only on translating standard text for their customers, but also providing video subtitles or dubbing for audiovisual content. We also assist businesses in localising their content, looking at their whole advertising campaign, from the text to the visuals, the colour, the layout and more to ensure they are able to connect effectively with their target market.
Computer-Assisted Translation Tools
With the huge increase in online content being shared and the resulting increased demand for its translation, translators are in need of some assistance in their work.
Many translators already use computer-assisted translation, or CAT, software (not to be confused with machine translation, referred to later on) to allow them to work more quickly and efficiently. This software will often have translation memory tools, which stores which translation and offers suggestions when similar text arises. The tools can also offer spelling and grammar checks, customized terminology databases and search facilities.
These tools are not without fault and issues such as compatibility have been cited, as well as warnings to translators not to rely on them completely. Proofreading and editing checks should always be done by a human translator.
Going forward, as the demand for these tools are likely to increase, so will the requirement for their faults to be eliminated and improved, reliable CAT software to be developed.
Big tech companies are in a race to provide the perfect machine translation solution. eSense Translations has shared many of their updates on our social media sites, regarding their use of neural network technology, as well as the latest development of the Pixel Buds.
Nonetheless, the machine technology available is still not proving to be error-free and although it is now much better than it has been in the past, machine translation would still not be recommended for professional use. For a further discussion on the reasons why, check out our blog.
Companies such as Google, Amazon and Mars are keen to get this right, so watch this space for further updates on improvements in this technology.
Learning a new language is another process that has migrated online. No longer do you need to go to your local college for an evening class, you can choose to learn a whole range of different languages online. There are many apps you can access to make the process of language learning fun with games and puzzles to try. You can also communicate directly with native speakers to test your language ability in a real setting and ask for advice. As with the other tech, this is only likely to improve and refine, ironing out any glitches currently experienced.
2018 will be an important year of preparation for leaving the EU and no one is yet 100% on what direction it will take. Clearly, our future with Europe will have an impact on the translation industry. Will we continue to work closely with our European partners or will businesses have to extend their reach to other markets, in Asia for example?
eSense Translations are excited about the future of this industry and the new directions these opportunities are likely to take our work. We will continue to adapt our approach to ensure we can provide the most effective services to suit the industry.
By Lorna Paice