Language Industry Trends For Coming Years

Posted on Mar 8, 2013 in Industry Insights

Frank Zhonghe Wei, President of Multilingual Technologies Inc., published “Language Industry Trends For Coming Years” in Chinese Translators Journal (March, 2012). This article presents and analyzes ten important trends in the language service industry for 2012 and coming years. Understanding these trends can help prepare the industry for this rapidly growing and changing market. Below is a summary of the article.

1. Despite of the grim outlook of the global economy, the language service industry will still maintain a moderate pace of growth. The well-known market research company Common Sense Advisory (CSA) predicts that the global language service market will reach $38.9 billion in revenue by 2014. In particular, the growth of technical translation companies will far outpace the growth of non-technical ones.

2. Market demand for the language services industry will undergo significant structural changes. First, with the integration of the global economy and the popularity of the Internet, multinational enterprises are able to penetrate regions with less spoken local dialects, increasing their demand.  Second, the content explosion from web content creation, multimedia, and social media will be major drivers of market demand. Third, with the rapid economic growth in Asia, especially in China, the Asian language market share will also increase significantly.

3. Mergers & acquisitions (M&A) will continue. According to the research CSA did in 2011, the number of companies that are willing to be acquired increased by 22.97% compared to 2010. M&A helps them increase their competitiveness.

4. Asian language service companies will play a bigger role in the global stage. For a long time, Europe and North America have had absolute dominance in the language service industry; however, in recent years, the growth rate of many Asian companies has been much higher than the average market growth rate.

5. The trend toward globalization of the language service industry has become evident. Many companies’ customers, sales network, operation centers, and translators are now increasingly distributed around the world, providing services across time zones and borders.

6. Fierce competition will emerge on the online translation management system(TMS) platforms. Multinational companies are utilizing cloud services to centralize language resources to provide a wide variety of services to end-users. Regional players, including a few Chinese companies, are also actively deploying their own online language services platform.

7. Machine translation (MT) technology will change the way the language service industry operates.  The strong demand for information in their mother tongues and massive amount of information far exceeds the capabilities of human translation. With the help of machine translation, language translation companies can greatly improve their efficiency and reduce the high cost of human translation using human assisted machine translation.

8. The business models of the language service industry will undergo constant innovations and reforms. Examples include: Crowdsourcing is attracting serious attention with more and more service providers, VoIP and video conferencing are bringing drastic changes to interpreting service.

9. More and more customers are looking for an automated and integrated process from their suppliers and new technologies make this possible. Automation and integration reduce human involvement and workload while increasing the working efficiency.

10. As the market gets more mature, “high quality and low price” can no longer be a competitive advantage for a company to set a foot in the industry. Even large companies are trying to build their own unique advantages as well. Many companies have focused their services on specific fields.

In a globalized market, the challenge language service providers are facing is not source scarce, but how to enhance their own strength to meet the growing needs of the market and select a specific target group from the increasingly diverse needs.

Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE
Multilingual Technologies Inc.