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2022 Trends in the Language Services Industry

December 21, 2022   -   Posted by GLOBO

The language services industry is growing, with an expected global market value of $96 billion by the end of 2027. With the world becoming more connected and businesses expanding into the global market, language services are no longer a "nice-to-have" — they're a necessity. 

With such a high demand for language services, the industry is evolving to meet those needs. Take a look at the trends that have marked the industry in 2022. 

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Translation

Machine translation has existed for decades, but it is becoming increasingly popular. By using deep learning — a subset of AI — machines can take words and phrases from one language and translate them into another with a fairly high level of accuracy.  

However, machine learning still has far to go before it can compare to human translation. Machines use probability to translate text and cannot actually comprehend passages. Without truly understanding the complexities of language, especially cultural context, regional terms, and industry-specific terms, AI translation cannot reach 100% accuracy. 

Machine translation may work for understanding the general idea of a passage or as a last resort when trying to communicate with someone that speaks another language. But human translation — especially from qualified and experienced linguists — is imperative to achieve accurate, culturally sensitive translation. 

2. Virtual Interpreting 

Perhaps one reason why people turn to AI translation is limited access to high-quality linguists. However, services like virtual interpreting attempt to solve that problem. Virtual interpreting uses technology to connect with human interpreters, even if they are on the other side of the world. 

Forms of virtual interpreting include video remote interpreting and remote simultaneous interpretation. They work well for everything from large conferences to personal healthcare meetings. The typical format involves a group of people in one location with an interpreter on video. While some companies may rely on video conference calls, other language service providers offer applications to make video remote interpreting available at any time.

Virtual interpreting continues to be a major trend. In fact, at GLOBO, we saw a 65% increase in video remote interpreting this year as compared to 2021. Organizations may opt for virtual interpreting as a cost-effective alternative to hiring an on-staff linguist or paying travel expenses to bring in linguists.  Virtual interpreting also provides a quick and simple solution when the company or organization has limited time to organize in-person interpretation.

3. Transcreation

Language is intrinsically intertwined with culture, so focusing exclusively on translating words can cause misunderstandings or confusion. Transcreation helps address this by adapting an entire project — whether that be a website, movie, ad, or ebook — to another culture. 

Take, for example, the 2015 animated movie Inside Out. Instead of simply translating the spoken word into various languages, Pixar changed contextual things as well, so the ideas resonate with audiences around the world. In one particular scene in the English version, the main character refused to eat her broccoli — a vegetable kids commonly dislike in the U.S. However, Pixar changed the broccoli to green peppers for the Japanese version because kids dislike them more than broccoli in Japan. 

The purpose of transcreation is to invoke the same message, intent, and emotions without anything getting lost in cultural differences. Transcreation professionals may take significant liberties with images, designs, website layouts, and even slogans to ensure the core message resonates with the target audience.

Get Ahead of the Game

Numerous companies and healthcare organizations are already taking advantage of these language service trends. Don't get left behind. Contact GLOBO today to learn more about how you can get high-quality language support, from video remote interpreting to translation and localization.

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