Landscape of the Translation Industry

Language translation has never been so exciting and innovative, especially with the new opportunities offered by the latest technologies. While we still play with AI and reveal its potential, the translation industry has grabbed the potential of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing to completely revolutionize traditional translation. As we look through the evolving landscape of the translation industry and the increasing demand for cross-cultural communication, we discover some more industry trends and technologies that shape the language translation world for this and the coming generations. Here are some ideas for what we will have soon in translation.

Before diving into the world of translation, here are some numbers that may shed light on the scales and the future of translation.

The rapid growth of language translation services also brought a drastic increase in market value. According to the latest “Translation Service Market Research by Service Type, By Operation Type, By Component, and Application – Forecast to 2030” by Market Research Future, the global translation services market will be valued at $47.21 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 2,60% for 2022–2030.

The growth driver of the industry is, first of all, the increased demand and simultaneous increase in the adoption of professional translation services globally. Moreover, the digitization of other industries, such as healthcare, travel, transport, and education, also contributes to the increase in demand. 

The regional analysis of the translation market reveals that North America is the leader in the global translation service market with advanced translation technologies, followed by Japan, China, Australia, and India. 

Translating and localizing content in 2023:

AI-Powered Translation Industry: Redefining the Landscape

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has firmly established itself as a game-changer anywhere it has been implemented so far, including the translation industry. When we say AI translation, we still mean AI used by humans to facilitate translation because complete automated AI translation technology is not yet feasible. Nevertheless, advanced AI-driven machine translation tools, powered by neural networks and deep learning, have dramatically improved translation accuracy and speed. This evolution has led to the rise of a whole new translation subcategory, real-time translation, which has all the chances to become the future of translation. real-time translation will make communication across languages more seamless than ever before.

The future of translation will be a seamless collaboration between humans and AI to excel at speed and quality in any form of translation, be it voice, text, or real-time translation.

The Human Touch in an Automated World

While AI is making great strides, human intelligence will still be priceless. Despite artificial intelligence, the utilization of machine learning, and natural language processing, humans will continue to play a crucial role when it comes to more advanced tasks. Complex nuances, idiomatic expressions, and creative content still require something more than algorithms to convey accurately. For exceptional quality, the industry will witness the emergence of a hybrid approach where AI assists human translators, streamlining processes without compromising on quality.

Data Security and Privacy in Translation

The adoption of technologies and digitization of industries have multiple advantages, but they also raise concerns about data security and privacy. Sensitive data is now less protected. This mostly refers to numerous online machine translation tools that may not have all the necessary data security measures in place to protect sensitive information shared during the translation process.

In translation, as information is often shared during translation processes, the industry needs warranties to ensure users are protected. New advanced encryption methods and secure cloud-based platforms will safeguard sensitive data, earning the trust of individuals and corporations seeking confidential and secure translation services.

Video and Multimedia Translation

With the expansion of modern technologies, traditional text-to-text translation is not the only available option. Translation services now enable various forms of translation, like text-to-speech, speech-to-text, speech-to-speech, video, and multimedia translation. In an age dominated by multimedia content, the latter option is an effective way to deliver various types of content to a larger audience.

Video subtitling, voice-over localization, and multimedia content adaptation are now widely practiced and will continue to gain prominence as businesses recognize the importance of making audiovisual content accessible and engaging to global audiences. The rise of online platforms and streaming services will also contribute to the demand for video and multimedia translation services. In their turn, AI-powered tools will aid in translating video content accurately, ensuring a consistent message across different languages.

The Role of Blockchain in Translation

Blockchain is another new, ground-breaking technology that is making inroads into industries, including the translation industry. But how does blockchain help revolutionize translation services? We already talked about the data security concerns businesses face when dealing with human or machine translation. Meanwhile, blockchain offers transparency, traceability, and security between two parties by encrypting information. In such a system, neither the name of a customer nor the translator's name will be revealed, providing maximum privacy when dealing with sensitive information. Moreover, blockchain's immutable nature helps maintain the integrity of translated content.

The collaboration of technology with translation services is a new practice, and in the future, there will be more use cases and scenarios. 

Sustainable Practices in Translation

Sustainability in translation can be interpreted in two ways. First, the two notions can be linked by using eco-friendly practices aimed at minimizing paper usage, opting for digital processes, and using energy-efficient technologies.

Another spectrum of communication sustainability in translation is adopting translation services’ transformative capacity as a social intervention tool. This is a new perspective on how translation can change the lives of thousands of individuals and communities by providing knowledge and information on sustainable practices.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Translation

Augmented Reality is breaking down reality in real time, and it has come to break language barriers as well. While we already use AR and VR in everyday life, like filters when taking a photo, the potential of augmented reality goes far beyond filters. In translation services, AR will translate everything around us through our phone cameras. This is a game-changing technology for the user experience, giving absolute freedom and self-confidence when navigating in an environment with an unknown language. This technology will, first of all, enhance travel experiences and aid international business interactions.

New Frontiers in Neural Language Models

With new neural language models coming to the forefront, like the GPT series, translation services will have wider capabilities in terms of productivity and quality. These models, which process vast amounts of text data, will be able to offer more contextually accurate and coherent translations. In the meantime, there are still limited languages available for translation, and some are still in the process of becoming more proficient. The usage of neural language models for professional translation is a matter of the future, but at this pace, we are talking about the near future.

Future-Proofing Translation Business Models

Every single technology and trend discussed above is one detail to have for a future-proofing translation business model. It can be an AI-powered real-time translation tool, speech-to-speech translation with voice cloning technology, secure translation with blockchain, and more.

Besides being agile and investing in the continuous learning of human assets, it is essential to embrace technologies that are already an integral part of our lives. Stay tuned for the third translation revolution with neural machine translation technologies, artificial intelligence empowering translation services, and new levels of data security. In the future, speed will be the key, so follow the technologies that will bring productivity and use human power to train machines rather than compete with them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How accurate are AI-powered translation tools compared to human translators?

While AI-powered translation tools have made significant strides in accuracy, they still lack personalization and often face challenges compared to human translators. At the same time, AI can provide quick and automated translations for repetitive tasks and large volumes of content.

What role does localization play in global business expansion?

Localization has become crucial for successful global business expansion. It involves adapting products, services, and content to resonate with different languages and preferences, thus enhancing the overall customer experience and boosting the chances of market penetration.

Is blockchain technology really relevant to the translation industry?

Yes, blockchain technology addresses data security and transparency concerns in translation services by encrypting data and securing translation contracts.

How can businesses ensure data privacy when using cloud-based translation services?

Today, cloud-based translation services, including machine translation tools, are popular alternatives, but they raise a series of concerns about data security and privacy. To ensure all security measures are taken, businesses should choose reputable and secure service providers with a strong track record in data protection, implement data encryption, and carry out regular security audits.

What are the ethical concerns surrounding the use of neural language models in translation?

Neural language models, learning from large datasets, often don’t filter information. As a result, their answers can be biased or inappropriate. If not addressed on time, misinformation will spread without reference to originality. It is not hard to imagine what the web will look like with tons of biased information. Moreover, using AI to generate content without clear attribution will raise issues of originality and plagiarism.