As we welcome the New Year, tis become the season for predictions! Hence our predictions on how 2012 will impact the translation services industry to keep you in anticipation of how the year will unfold. Here they are…
As broadband continues its relentless expansion around the world and as PayPal and Skrill become available to citizens of all nations, the world will become flatter in 2012 and a larger pool of translators will awake to the handiness of hard-currency-paying-jobs from translation service vendors, expanding the supply of capable professional translators to all. This will apply downward price pressure on translation rates for certain languages.
Online translation services performed by low cost human translators, hailed from different parts of the world, and assisted by machine translation, are proliferating on the web. In 2011, we often heard of new start ups getting multimillion dollar funding to offer translation services at very low rates. These announcements will continue in 2012 possibly contributing to further erosion in translation rates as professional translation consumers experiment with these new and very price enticing offerings.
Improvements with online translation management systems, translation memory technology and collaboration will continue in 2012 creating further efficiencies in the market and improving quality. These efficiencies will contribute to the lowering of the overhead involved in the management of translation.
On the other hand, the world’s population reached 7 Billion in 2011. If 10% of people on earth fund only one page of professional translation per year each, this will put the professional translation services market around $35B, in line with industry estimates. Now granted there are many factors involved in determining the market size, however one can safely assume that a growing diverse world population will continue to need to communicate and assimilate as the world gets flatter.
With the start of 2012, there are still lingering questions about the survival of the Euro Zone as we know it today. This is creating uncertainty and affecting markets and industries worldwide. What is certain however is that all European countries will retain their diversities, including their various languages and cultures, if not the Euro! As economic turmoil is expected to continue in 2012 while Europe equivocates on its future, translation services will not cease to be needed to either further assimilate or facilitate the secession of EU nations.
The US fragile recovery lingered in 2011 and may continue to linger in 2012 as US presidential elections get under way. American companies that have survived this fragile economy have not only become lean, but also learned to hedge their bets by being active in many other parts of the world. 2012 will not be a year where American companies will retreat worldwide, despite shifting growth rates around the world. New opportunities in new frontiers will require further investments in product localization and international sales, hence more translation services!
Industries depending heavily on quality and service, like medical translation, will continue to rely on traditional professional translation services, further funding the development of language technologies that will help streamline the service.
Based on the above indicators, we predict that the needs for professional translation services will continue to gradually grow in 2012. Advances in technologies and services will make an evolutionary impact not large enough to disrupt the industry and its positive growth trends.
Lastly, although I have much respect and admiration for the Mayan civilization and historic accomplishments in the realms of mathematics and astronomy, the world as we know it today will not end in 2012. But if they are right and it does end on December 21, well, I guess this posting would have served its purpose for 98% of the year…
A warm thank you to all our readers for your continued replies and contributions to
our postings over 2011; we wish you all a prosperous 2012!