Translating 2023: trends and predictions for the future of translation
The world is getting smaller and smaller every day thanks to the scale of global technology and the availability of the internet. As a result, the global language and translation services industry has grown rapidly in the last 5 years and is showing no signs of slowing down.
Key trends emerged in 2022 that prepared the industry to grow faster than ever, with an estimated worth of over USD 70 billion within reach over the next 5 years. Suddenly, corporate translation has become more important, and more available, than ever.
Whether you feel a sudden urgency to meet the global market by engaging with translation services or you’ve been wanting to bring the quality of NAATI translation to your corporate enterprise, this blog is for you. To make your business translation choices simple, we’ve detailed what’s been happening in 2022 within the booming translation services industry, and where the industry is headed at the dawn of 2023.
Read on to discover our expert insights and what they might mean for your business.
Where we finish 2022…
If the digital age wasn’t influencing your business before, it certainly will be by now, almost 4 years into work-from-home orders and global shutdowns. No business was exempt from the impacts of this pandemic-induced global shift, however, within the world of translation services, improved technology and globalisation have somewhat worked in our favour.
Where flights were cancelled and meetings moved online, the importance of clear and effective global communication became more important than ever. From sharing impactful public health messaging to effective interpersonal business communication, the pandemic has refined and bolstered an industry that was already in fast motion. Organisations the world over were forced to bring their global strategies forward, enter the world of e-commerce, and embrace a remote work culture. Removing the challenge of language barriers became as important as having a fast internet speed and a reliable Zoom connection.
Many world travelers would be familiar with artificial intelligence (AI) translation programs such as Google Translate, otherwise known as machine translation (MT). While these might be useful for ordering a croissant or booking a hotel, they are unlikely to replace specialised human translation services which support the nuances and localisation of language and culture. As the industry continues to experience demand, translators have begun embracing MT as a tool to their advantage, alongside technologies such as Computer Aided Translation (CAT), enabling them to work quickly and accurately. 2022 saw the demand for expert translation increase, as businesses realised that bad translation is bad for business.
In the world of voiceovers and subtitles, 2022 was perhaps its most successful year yet. This is largely thanks to the inevitable increase of the use of digital platforms such as podcasts, audible digital training and voiceover for corporate videos, announcements, and audio advertisements.
The demand for increased educational media is showing no signs of slowing down, with schools, training programs, colleges and remote learning urging a bolstered quality and availability of digital content. The voice over trend remains steady in both the corporate and education spaces as business owners embrace online platforms and digital development programs to make the most of slim resources.
In 2022, over 1.2 billion students moved from the classroom to their at-home computer desks, making e-learning a huge contender in the education market. Businesses adopted at-home education for anything from new staff onboarding to monthly reporting and upskilling their employees. Accuracy is paramount in any education scenario, whether you’re training the next recruit or teaching a student who may become the next prime minister.
In 2022, expertly translated materials became a tool that some of the world’s most prominent industries and corporate entities – education, media, art, governmental and public health – could not have survived without.
Where we’re heading in 2023…
Currently, the percentage of internet content in English is at 63%, however, with more and more people gaining access to the internet and moving online for work and study, this is set to increase by 3% in 2023. As governments from non-English speaking nations begin to prioritise local internet access, translation services will become an essential tool for those in both residential and corporate spaces. Advances in technology will only mean higher relevance and greater importance for high-quality and reliable translation services.
The benefits of quality human translation offer more than meets the eye, as both Google and its users prefer a website that not only has fast load speeds but easily digested content. Businesses that relied solely on low-cost machine translation in 2022 saw low click-through rates on their websites, as visitors would exit when faced with inaccurate or culturally irrelevant information. The demand for good content is higher than ever across all industries, for as the internet grows, it becomes more competitive.
Building a brand on an international level requires global engagement. Moreso, casting a wide net in the rich landscape of 2023’s online space will require successful communication at the very foundation of every strategy. Engaging both B2B and B2C international audiences will require clear and meaningful online content and culturally relevant marketing materials.
Voiceover and video translation services are emerging as incredibly popular in 2023 and beyond. Businesses that invest in video translation services and voiceovers meet an important need for cross-cultural communication, effectively taking their brand to those across the seas. As more English-speaking viewers begin to realise the quality and value of foreign language art and media, the market for subtitles and voiceovers is going to heat up, and Cisco predicts that going into 2023, video streaming will account for over 80% of global internet traffic. This sector of translation services alone is moving towards a value of well over $400 million by 2027.
Human translation services will answer the call for culturally appropriate and nuanced translations, as international viewers will demand integrity with maintained emotional depth and accurate visual and audible delivery. In the corporate world, businesses will begin to focus on online avenues for growth, backed by a translation industry that is up for the challenge.
What this means for your business…
No industry was exempt from the impact of the global pandemic. The language services industry was forced to act fast to pivot business models and offerings to meet the growing needs of global clients. Companies of all shapes and sizes across the world adapted to digital platforms, pushing the industry towards innovation and adaptability as it had never seen before. Moving into 2023, the translation services industry is more equipped and ready than ever and is enjoying a steady beat of success as efforts to meet demand at the beginning of the pandemic begin to pay off. The industry is expected to grow, and the success of the last three years has proven that this growth will only mean more innovation, higher quality, and better resilience.
Global connections have always been an important aspect of doing business, but this may be truer than ever in a post-pandemic world. Almost two-thirds of the global population will have internet access by 2023, yet English language content makes up over half of all internet communications. With businesses across the world working in harmony with the global language services industry, there is a risk of obscurity for those unwilling to communicate in a language other than their native tongue. Upcoming generations have proven their willingness to engage with international language through art and media, and the internet has resulted in the expanses of international business becoming suddenly within reach.
As the demand for high-quality translation services continues to increase across every sector – culture, art, business, and education – the industry has stepped up to perform this important work, making the future of 2023 and beyond very bright.
Ready to translate? We can help…
DS5 Translations is proud to be Australia’s leading document translation service, providing NAATI translations in over 150 languages. Our experienced and certified translation experts are ready to meet the demands of your business’s international needs, ensuring your global communication is clear, on-brand, high quality, effective and accurate. Make the most of your resources, time, and budget in this post-pandemic business landscape, with a team who can meet and exceed the translation needs of your business.
Get in touch today to claim your free quote, or to discuss what translation services can mean for your business or corporate enterprise. Click here to take your global communications to the next level in 2023.