Over the years, professional language translation and interpretation services have become an inseparable part of international business for many companies in the United Kingdom.
Today, organisations and business owners methodically partner with expert translation agencies to help them approach international markets and reach their multilingual audiences.
As you can imagine, the demand for professional translation, interpreting, and other language services is high amongst practically all corporate sectors & industries.
Nonetheless, the translation industry itself is changing rapidly.
With the developments and advancements in Artificial Intelligence and other linguistic technologies, Language Services Providers (LSPs) must adapt quickly to the changes or be left behind.
Recent developments in the translation industry
You may wonder what the most recent developments and changes within the language translation industry and linguistic sector were.
Similarly to practically all other professional and business areas, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has also had a direct impact on translation agencies and the language sector in general.
Today, AI-based translations are becoming more and more popular, mainly due to their speed and relatively low costs.
As a result, Language Service Providers, translation agencies and even freelance translators must be able to accommodate these changes in one way or another and include them within their processes in order to stay up to date.
Experts’ Insight on Translation Services
To better understand what translation and interpretation services look like in 2023 and what customers expect in today’s globalised business environment, we reached out to the translation experts from TS24, a leading agency specialising in providing translation services and language interpreting. TS24 was kind enough to share its expertise with our readers.
We asked TS24 to share any translation data and figures with us that would allow our readers to have a better insight into the language services industry and any trends that are visible in 2023.
They told us that “The translation sector as a whole has changed significantly over the last 2 or 3 years. We can see these changes intensify in 2023, and we believe that some trends will continue. The effect of the growth of Artificial Intelligence and dedicated translation software is clearly visible today. Translation companies must incorporate these technologies into their everyday processes in order to remain competitive within a saturated market. TS24 is lucky to be able to use the latest bespoke software, Artificial Intelligence as well as human translators to meet the market demands” and added, “Today, the total number of fully AI-driven translations is still relatively low and makes up less than 10% of our services, however, we can definitely see a slight growth in demand over the last 6 months. We believe that combining technology such as AI & cultural/linguistic expertise of professional human translators guarantees the most reliable results and content suitability for the target audience.”
Are human translators a thing of the past?
As you can imagine, professional human translators are concerned about their future.
Understandably, some translators fear that the increasing use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Translations could potentially eliminate the demand for native human linguists.
Some, on the other hand, try to embrace change and believe that the future is brighter than ever, as translation services will be more feasible for a much wider pool of potential clients who otherwise wouldn’t be able to include them within their business budgets.
So, which scenario is more likely to come to fruition?
According to the translation experts from TS24, the combination of human translators with technology such as AI currently gives the most accurate and reliable translation outcomes.
As the speed and relatively cheaper cost of AI-driven translations are a true advantage, human translators’ cultural, linguistic and sector-specific expertise cannot be replicated, at least for now.
Human translators are able to accurately portray the intended feelings behind a message in business or marketing campaigns, and as we know, being able to present intent correctly and accurately convey a message is key within the professional environment.
The importance of language translation services in business
Today, with globalisation in full swing, technological developments, fast internet available in practically all corners of the world and an extremely well-established logistics network around the world, companies are able to trade internationally with new clients and business partners with speed & ease.
Although all of these developments created a much more positive, sustainable and accessible international business environment, some aspects, such as the correct use of language, still remain a challenge to businesses.
This is where professional translation services come in handy.
As shown in some recent studies, being able to present your content directly in the market’s native language can go a long way.
Generally, international consumers feel more inclined to associate with a brand or complete a purchase of a product/service if they are able to read all relevant information directly in their mother tongue.
20% of respondents said they very rarely or never buy products which are available only in English & 70% of people asked believe that by translating the materials, a foreign company shows a sign of respect to their consumers.
As you can see, the importance of professional language translations in business must be maintained. It is vital to remember, however, that although linguistic aspects are critical, socio-cultural factors also play an essential role. As a result, when choosing your provider, make sure that they are able to provide translations by a native speaker. If you decide to obtain AI-driven or machine translations, check with the agency to see if a human translator can proofread and check the content.
The future of the translation industry is bright
Looking at the growth in demand for translation services, it’s clear to see that the industry is here to stay in one form or another.
Translation providers must adapt; however, this is true for the translation sector and practically all other professional industries globally.
Artificial intelligence will only improve with time, and translation companies will have to incorporate it into their processes to provide the most competitive services.
Human translators will still play a crucial part within the industry, with cultural and sector-specific aspects becoming increasingly important as time goes on.