The year 2022 is nearing its end, so we can draw certain conclusions to see what happened in the translation industry in this period. The pandemic changed the world for good and we are still at the stage of adaptation to the new reality. Business processes had to be reconsidered, and dealing with customers and vendors online gave rise to new industry standards that are still in the process of being polished and evaluated for efficiency.
Anyway, let’s look at the diversity of trends that are relevant in 2022 and are likely to spur further developments in the industry.
Despite all the arguments for and against this way of translating, machine translation tools are here to stay. They are almost useless when it comes to a creative translation like delivering a piece of literature or a poem, but otherwise, machine translation is a valuable thing if you just need to understand the general sense and do it quickly and at an affordable cost.
We can argue that machine and human translations are as different as homemade and factory-made food, and say that machine translation has no soul in it. But how many objects in your life are made by hand? We do love the touch of human energy in the work, but machine tools will define the future of the industry to a large extent.
What does a customer need? This is the question that the best marketing minds on the planet have been trying to answer for a long time (and they continue to struggle). What they converge on is that customers need experience that would be unique and personal, and this is where transcreation translation comes in handy.
What the translator actually does is take the original intent of the content and convey it to the target audience in an adapted way to embody that uniqueness and personal touch. As you see, this is the other side of the spectrum if we take machine translation as one extremity, which means that these two poles, mechanical speed and human touch, will co-exist rather than compete.
We all want to be taught and entertained by people, and we want it to be done online. Video content for educational, marketing, and other purposes will be created in large quantities, and all of that needs to be translated – fortunately for us, the translators. The market of online education is experiencing a real boost, and we are its guardian angels.
Use of Artificial Intelligence
AI is now integrated into the best machine translation tools, but advanced features are only available in paid premium editions. It is not so smart as to replace humans, but it does give ample opportunities that will continue to be polished and developed in the future.
When we talk about machine translation, we refer to post-editing. AI offers pre-editing instead: the translator uploads some glossaries and preferences to the tool and has much less work afterward. There are still many questions regarding the AI’s ability to learn from real work done by translators, but this trend will surely continue to be explored, and this may have far-reaching consequences for the whole industry.
SEO for Localization
Businesses need new customers, which technically means that they have to rely on SEO to reach their audience and make a localized offer to them. SEO copywriters make sure you get not just a translated piece for your company but also a text that will be noticed by search engines and shown to the potential target audience. Making a text and making a visible text are different spheres, so SEO-minded translators will have their niche to fill.
SMS Marketing Needs Localization
This is an interesting trend that will be approached with utmost creativity due to the limitations of the method itself. SMS marketing is growing in importance, and businesses need bright and succinct messages to reach their audience. They should sound perfect in different languages, so localization is not easy at all in this case. Still, this is a promising niche that is far from reaching its full potential yet.
Paper Documents: Translation and Digitalization
Companies used to work in offices. And though it would be premature to talk about the complete disappearance of physical offices, storage spaces for hard copies of documents are definitely a thing of the past. Company documents are now stored in clouds, which is the most convenient and affordable solution.
However, a lot of paper documents are still there, waiting to be scanned, digitalized, translated, and finally stored somewhere in the digital universe. And this is something that translators will need to handle.
As we mentioned, the major upheaval in the business world caused by the pandemic is still producing fluctuations, which means that companies are changing the ways they are conducting their business. Entrepreneurs are expanding their horizons and geography, which requires the production and translation of a lot of documents for business support and localization. So, the demand is as high as ever, and translators are here to help.
The world still hasn’t coped with COVID-19 as effectively as it wanted to, and there are a lot of studies devoted to the new virus. Medical translation requires special knowledge, so translators with a medical background or at least some experience in the field are in great demand.
This area includes speech-to-speech and speech-to-text translation, and the development of speech recognition apps will make a noticeable co9ntribution here.
Translation for Globalization
Companies are competing for visibility on the Internet, and this goes beyond the texts with keywords mentioned earlier. People need events, and businesses are doing their best to organize workshops and different gatherings to get in touch with potential customers. Companies want to reach the non-English-speaking audience in every corner of the world, which will mean more localization and more work for the translation industry.
The year 2022 marked really important trends for the future. And while human touch will always be in trend, machine translation is here to play its role in the industry. All we can do is adapt to the changing environment.