In this era of technology the world has become a small global village. And the modern world is becoming more globalized and interconnected every day. Today, even the smallest enterprise is looking for ways to tap into its potential global customer base. But the world’s population is made up of billions of people, thousands of cultures and hundreds of languages. This has made clear communication across different languages and cultures, not just a necessity, but a survival mechanism in a rapidly evolving world.
In the last seven years, the number of people employed in the translation industry doubled while the number of companies specializing in translation services increased by 24%. At a time when most sectors of the economy are shrinking, the translation industry can easily be labelled as the fastest growing industry worldwide. Interestingly, the language pairs offered by most professional translators as well as advanced translation platforms only represents a fraction of the languages spoken in different parts of the world. The remaining languages will have to be translated since the cut-throat competition sweeping through the world leaves no room for an unexploited market, labor, knowledge, etc. In other words, the translation industry is posed to grow even more.
Reasons why demand for translators is growing
Sure, globalization creates a need for clear communication across people who don’t share a common language. But the rapid increase in the demand for translators means there is more to this. Which leaves the question, “why is there a boom in the translation industry even when other industries are falling?”. Here are 4 reasons why the need for translators is growing.
1. The changing face of society
As a result of globalization, the diversity of the world’s population is shifting at an ever-increasing pace. Nowadays, it is quite hard to spend the day without meeting several people who speak a different language from yours. Though the number depends on a number of factors like your native language, number of languages you speak and where you are, there is a common denominator; the society is now comprised of many cultures and numerous languages.
Statistically, as the number of people speaking different languages in the society grows, the demand for translation services grows alongside them. Data from census in virtually all countries shows an increase in societal diversities. It therefore follows that there is a need for more and more translators in all these societies.
2. Most people prefer their native language
To be more persuasive, especially in business, you need to deliver your message in your audience’s native language. People are more convinced in their native language as opposed to a second language they feel a lack of connection to, or worse, a language they don’t fully understand. Translators come in here; to accurately translate your message to your potential client’s native language.
3. Translation connects the global economy, supports development of international policies and helps create a ‘one people’ world
Or you can simply call it globalization. The 21st century has seen the emergence of an advanced global market, increased co-operation towards common goals among nations and integration of people of all races. Translation is at the heart of it all. None of this would be possible if everyone in the global community used their own language, without a care whether their audience understands them.
Globalization is at such an advanced stage but more human interaction among people of different language groups is just picking up speed. This means that more translators will be needed in the near future.
4. Emerging markets means emerging languages
We have already seen that translators have only paired a fraction of all world languages. Developing countries are taking shape in the global economy as more and more of their citizens gain exposure to the whole world through the internet. These new markets that are fast entering the global stage are bringing along new languages with them. Translators are tasked with connecting the new markets to the rest of the world through translation.
Translation is very important and plays a huge role in globalization. Growth in the translation industry is quite high and will remain so in the foreseeable future. And while the recent sophistication and reliability of machine translation has led to a speculation that these machines could eventually wipe out human translators, nothing can be further from the truth. Rather than replace them, machine translation has helped human translators increase their efficiency.