Five Trends in the Language Services Industry

By: Sanskriti Ravi, Communications Intern

The steady growth of the language services industry is an indicator that an increasing number of businesses are recognizing the importance of implementing translation, localization and transcreation in their overarching growth strategies. With this growth, there are some crucial trends to follow in the upcoming years. With constantly evolving technology, many trends have a focus on integrating language solutions in a digital space. The current pandemic has only reinforced these trends, as demand for language solutions offered through digital methods are needed more than ever.

  1. Growth of the Video Localization Services

Video content has a reached a new height of importance over recent years. Increasingly, companies are aiming to make this engaging tool an integral part of their marketing strategy, particularly on social media. Video has proven to be a more impactful form of visual media, allowing for increased engagement. International companies and e-commerce businesses, aiming to reach a global audience, have a desire to make their content available to the largest number of people. This means investing in subtitling and dubbing services to advance the reach of their video content. Furthermore, the majority of videos on social media are watched silently, making subtitling even more crucial for successful communication. For example, Facebook and Instagram have developed a video ecosystem, where the video plays automatically on newsfeeds and users can consume video content without turning on the volume. The idea is to make it as easy as possible for users to engage with content. The easier it is for people to access information, the more ROI a company can expect from this marketing tool. Therefore, subtitling in multiple languages, to reach the widest audience, is essential in enabling effortless access to the content. Lastly, as companies aim to expand to global markets, they are using video localization for more than just marketing. Video localization services are vital in virtual meetings with overseas clients, user messaging, training videos, product updates.

Localization is where translated content is adapted to a specific culture, language, locale or market, to have the largest influence and better relay messages. Video translation needs to be coupled with localization services to allow for messages to be conveyed accurately in a culturally specific manner. This places the importance on professional human translation, where an individual can perform localization tasks, rather than rely on machine translation.

  1. Emphasis on Regional Languages

Following the wave of anti-racism protests taking place across the world, there has been an important push to ensure workplaces, communities and societies are inclusive, diverse and equal. This cannot be achieved without placing emphasis on access to language services. With ethnic diversity at the cornerstone of many businesses globally, a focus on regional languages within a country is necessary. For example, Canada alone has immense language diversity, with over 200 languages reported as ‘home languages or mother tongue’ in the 2011 Census of Population[1]. In order to achieve more inclusivity and tap into the full extent of domestic markets, companies will have to ramp up their efforts to make their communication materials available in multiple languages.

  1. E-learning

The e-learning market has experienced incredible growth over the past few years, and this trend is expected to continue throughout the years. According to Global Market Insights, the e-learning market size exceeded USD 200 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow over 8% compound annual growth rate between 2020-2026[2]. Yet, most e-learning content and programming remains only available in English. Tapping into other language markets will be the next obvious step as the English-speaking market becomes progressively saturated.

  1. Machine Translation with Post-Editing, and Voice Recognition

As technology develops, machine translation and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, such as neural machine translation (NMT), are becoming prominent across industries. AI-based translation services have developed the ability to understand linguistic nuances, which will change the nature of professional human translation. Machine translation coupled with human post-editing, to ensure the finer cultural conventions are captured in translated content, is becoming more common and allows for better optimization of a language professional’s working time. Therefore, when it comes to professional language services, as AI-based translation services improve, more creative areas such as transcreation and localization will become increasingly more important. Also, it is valuable for language professionals to specialize to remain competitive. For example, having domain-specific knowledge of various industries, such as blockchain, data science, Internet of Things, medicine, and law, is beneficial for post-editing and localization tasks.

Further, the development of voice recognition is becoming prominent and people are using voice search to access information online. This raises the expectations of search engine optimization (SEO) for companies competing for a greater share of the global market. It also makes it important to localize and translate website content into multiple languages so that the content is audible and readable to search engine technology in a variety of spoken languages. Click here to read our blog on the importance of implementing a multilingual content strategy.

  1. Growth of Transcreation

As businesses begin to globalize more rapidly, international businesses are beginning to understand the benefits of communicating with international clients in the right way and with a sense of flair. Transcreation involves the localization of translated content along with creative writing. This means there will be increased demand in ensuring that language professionals are able to perform tasks to adapt entire marketing campaigns, slogans, texts, and communication materials as if they were originally created in the target language. Additionally, as machine translation grows in prominence, language professionals that are able to perform transcreation will stand out.

[1] https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/as-sa/98-314-x/98-314-x2011001-eng.cfm

[2] https://www.gminsights.com/industry-analysis/elearning-market-size