Insights September 9, 2020

Why the translation industry is booming, and how agencies might adapt

Living Word
By Living Word

Some industries seem to have done significantly better than others during the global pandemic – one being the language service industry. In even better news, it is estimated that the translation services market will experience massive growth in the next few years. We take a look at the major driving forces behind this predicted growth and consider how agencies can adapt to stay relevant and make the most of it.

As the demand for its products and services has increased, even throughout the current pandemic, the outlook for the translation industry is rather bright. The sector has seen major growth over the last decade, and continued prosperity is expected. While the global language services market has doubled in size, reaching a value of 46.9 billion US dollars in 2019, the Common Sense Advisory (CSA), among others, predicts an increase to 56.18 billion by 2021.

Why is the translation industry faring well?

Despite the crisis, there are several sectors that need professional translation services, including of course the pharmaceutical and medical sectors. At the same time, many businesses and organisations decided to use the limbo triggered by the pandemic to focus on their planned campaigns and internationalisation efforts – and these inevitably depend on translation and transcreation services to stay competitive. After all, globalisation continues to be one of the major driving forces of businesses today, and in addition, the need for businesses to really understand their customers’ languages and communication styles has arguably never been greater. International success and efficient geographical outreach are inextricably linked to translation and transcreation services.

Another factor that’s likely to have helped the language service industry as a whole is of course that the majority of freelance linguists and translation agencies are used to working from home, meaning that keeping up ‘business as usual’ might have been easier for them than for many others. Moreover, let’s not forget about the huge technological advances and improved, sophisticated software that have already given the language services sector a boost in recent years.

What now?

Typically, with growth comes a more crowded market place. If you’re looking for a language service provider, a combination of a proven track record and a desire to keep on top of new trends and developments can be a good sign to look out for. Many agencies are likely to expanded their service portfolios as a growing demand from end-users means that they need to be more flexible with their services and the language combinations offered.

As an established language services and transcreation agency, we’ll make sure to monitor current and future trends to ensure that we’re able to offer our clients what they need in these fast-changing, uncertain times. We suspect that localised content, visual translations, CAT tools and the increased use of transcreation to attract target audiences will be key terms and concepts to keep an eye on in the coming months.