Friday, February 1, 2013

Recent Trends in Translation

Below are three important trends that you may not have known about the translation industry. Some of these figures were taken from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the latest 2012 report issued by the Common Sense Advisory, a leading researching company for the language services industry, and from internal data taken from PLG.

The translation industry will be growing at a whopping 42% in this decade.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 42 percent increase in translation related jobs from 2010 to 2020, classifying it as “much faster than average”. As the world continues to globalize and companies seek to send their products to other countries, the world will also see an increase in translation requests. PLG saw this trend at the recent 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Out of the 3,100 exhibitors at the show this year, PLG estimates that at least 50% already had their company materials translated. With a show that reaches across global markets with an estimated 153,000 of attendees, it is certainly wise for exhibitors that don’t have their materials translated to do 

The largest markets for translation include Europe at 49%, North America at 35% and Asia at 13%. 

The largest growth in the translation sector was in Europe and Asia. In Asia, much of the increased investment in translation came from China. The U.S. does not spend as much in translation as Europe does but U.S. private companies wishing to expand their services overseas may offset this trend in the future. PLG has seen a recent trend of many manufacturers and producers looking at Canada and Mexico for new opportunities. Latin America only holds 0.63% of the market at this point, but with emerging economies such as Brazil and Mexico also investing overseas at an increasing rate, this number is expected to grow.

Contrary to popular belief, the majority of translators do not work for the United Nations but the manufacturing sector. 

Manufacturing corresponded to 1/3 of the market at over 11 billion dollars in 2012, which indicates that companies have put a great deal of effort on getting their messages out in global markets. The manufacturing industry includes machinery, pharmaceutical, computer and electronic equipment, and cars and other transport equipment. In a globalized market, manufacturers face the challenge of providing materials at faster speeds at an increasing number of languages across multiple channels. The solution: translation technology. Studies made between 2010 and 2012 showed that translators with increased access to technology (such as translation memory software) were able to produce more output to meet the demands of manufacturing companies.
Are you surprised by any of these facts or trends?

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