2020 has been a challenging year for all, with many changes that certainly affected how the world will continue in the future. Here, we'll take a look at the language industry; how it has grown, its current state, and the exciting possibilities for the future.
The Growth of the Language Industry
The language industry has been ever changing, though recent technological advances have made a significant impact. We know people have used interpreters and translation for centuries with artifacts like the Rosetta Stone.
In modern times, specifically in 1954, efforts were made to try to automate translation. The complexities of language made humans translators more accurate, though these tools were able to aid translators in their efforts.
Modern technology has also been revolutionizing the abilities of interpreters for some time. While interpreters used to always have to be physically present in order to provide interpretation services, the invention of things like radios, phones, and more recently, video chat, has made it much easier for services to happen wherever they are needed.
Before the most recent events, many language services providers were utilizing in-person services. However, current events have created higher demand for remote interpreting, causing a shift to phone and video options. The availability of better technological solutions has made this shift easier and more effective than would have been possible before.
Many of the changes in the industry were sped up due to the global pandemic that has required much of daily life to continue remotely, through alternative platforms.
Effects of Current Events
Translators have had to work at home before, and they've been using remote tools like glossaries and style guides for quite a while. The recent growth in demand for remote interpreting services, however, has been fairly new.
According to a survey at CSA, some Language Service Providers have reported an increase in demand in industries such as:
Medical, Life Sciences and Pharmaceuticals
The current situation has made it so that many people, all over the world, need help to communicate with people over remote platforms since in-person interpreting is no longer feasible.
41% of LSPs surveyed believe the market has changed for good
The need for remote translation has skyrocketed in the health industry especially, as hospitals have been more full than normal and interpreters are still essential to patients' wellbeing, yet they are not able to have direct contact with the patients.
Present Booms in Language Support Technology
Video platforms have been essential in making remote interpreting possible. It is often easier to understand interpreters when clients are able to see the words being spoken, and video platforms have allowed interpreters to join meetings they cannot be present at. Some also have features that allow simultaneous interpreting to multiple people, for efficient group interpreting.
This increase in video streaming technology is one of those things that may present interesting possibilities for interpreters going into the future. It has opened up increased possibilities, for alternative options when interpreters cannot be found locally.
Looking Toward the Future
The growing technology for language assistance has allowed translations to be faster and more cost-efficient. Computer-aided translation systems have helped create glossaries to quickly aid in translations and lower costs.
Remote interpreting options will likely change the industry forever. Now, when interpreters in a desired language are not found locally, they still may be able to fill jobs remotely. In addition, many companies may be moving to increased remote work. This may mean a continuation of remote meetings that interpreters can be called in for.
It will be interesting to see which changes from this year will carry on to 2021. Most likely, remote interpreting will continue through 2021 and beyond.