How big is the translation services market? Which are the most demanded languages? What trends can we identify in the translation industry? In short, what is the size of the translation industry? We will address these and other questions in our "Knowledge" section about the translation industry.The good news for translators who worry about the technology may one day replace human translations is that only parts of the translation job can be automated by now. Despite huge advancement in technology, machine translation is an enabler to do translation faster or used for gisting, but not for final professional publishing. It is not expected that in the near future translations will be entirely automatic translations. The increase in the demand of professional translation services is high. Taking English as the source language, the demand for frequently translated languages such as French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish will remain particularly strong. The most widely used Asian languages such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean will also remain in high demand. Arabic and other Middle Eastern languages will rank in a third position. In the 21st century, companies and governments must communicate and publish regularly (often in several languages) with existing and potential customers, business partners, even employees working in other countries. This has shielded the translation industry and has turned it in a refuge from economic downturns. Despite downwards pressures because of worldwide recession, demand has actually grown steadily in the past few years. For example, multilingual online publishing has provided a tool for many SMEs to enter previously untapped markets.
What is it meant by "Translation Services Industry"?Under the name "translation services", we find an industry which includes companies that a) translate written material, and b) offer interpreting services from one language to another. (This includes companies that provide sign language services for the impaired.) Typical translation services provided by the sector include translation of documents (translation of paper-based documents or translation of digital documentation), software translation and translation of websites (known in this industry as "localization", i.e the translation of information in a website into languages for use in other countries with a different subdomain (es., fr., jp., or /es, /fr, /jp), for SEO, local product presence, etc. Localization also takes into account local cultural and linguistic traits, different keyword trends, etc., generally using translation as a sales tool or for marketing purposes.
Translation Services Industry GrowthIt is a fact that the translation market is not heavily affected by recessions. However, it is a very fragmented market, with spot number 1 claimed by military contractors and the Top 100 firms ranging from $427M down to $4M according to studies by Common Sense Advisory, a translation industry think tank which estimated the size of the industry to be $33.5 billion in 2012. According to a report by IbisWorld, translation services are expected keep on growing and reach $37 billion in 2018. The United States represents the largest single market for translation services. Europe is a close second and Asia is the largest growth area. Currently, business is generated from the government and private industries alike. According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, the translation industry is expected to grow by 42% between 2010 - 2020. The most important reason for this growth is globalization. Machine translation and other computer assisted translation software will learn and get better and better in future resulting in better translation services and efficiencies. Higher efficiencies will be based on
- the translators side, resulting in faster and more reliable translations. Companies applying machine translation technology efficiently will be clear winners.
- companies paying less in the future for the same amount of translation work. More content will be able to be published at the same cost or cheaper cost.