Current trends in the translation industry
The ongoing development and improvement of machine translation continues to be one of the current trends in the translation industry in 2019. Real-time translations using Google headphones or cameras turn scenes from science fiction films into reality and convey the impression that anything is possible. But despite the significant technological progress, it would be impossible to imagine the translation industry without human translators in 2019.
This is because the machines don’t understand humans, the subtle humor, the hidden meanings between the lines and they don’t have much inclination for irony. Not every proverb has an equivalent in another language. English is not the same as English and Spanish is not the same as Spanish. If a particular Spanish word has a harmless meaning in one country, it is quite possible that it is used ambiguously in another country or could even be a total blunder. A translator who is familiar with the cultural customs knows this, but the machine does not. The human being as translator remains indispensable for localization, meaning the translation and adaptation of texts to the target market.
Also, as international communication continues to grow, so does the need for translation. Nevertheless, it is undeniable that technological progress and current trends such as the growth of video content on the Internet are influencing and transforming the translation industry.
Machine translation: Current trends and new developments in the translation industry
Being unable to read the menu in Chinese in a restaurant is no longer an issue. Real-time translation using a camera makes it possible. Google made a comprehensive update here this summer https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/10/20688682/google-translate-camera-instant-translation-function-languages-update-ai. Artificial intelligence has now been improved so that the user experience is enhanced and there are fewer translation errors. And 60 totally new languages have been introduced.
Generally speaking advancements in machine translation have made it possible to significantly speed up the translation process and to translate large amounts of words cost-effectively. This also applies to price pressure, which will increase as a result of market consolidation among language service providers and agencies.
Neural Machine Translation (NMT) enables continually improving translation quality and consequently commercially viable translations. A Game Changer! NMT makes use of extensive amounts of data and Deep Learning. Deep learning is one area of machine learning, basically, it is inspired by learning in the human brain and offers previously unimaginable possibilities.
Advanced language technologies such as these are also transforming the way language services work. For example, while some are losing importance, post-editing continues to gain in significance. Post-editing is the process whereby a machine-translated text is subsequently improved by humans. In this way quality and correctness can be guaranteed. Because this type of translation involves both man and machine, it is also referred to as hybrid translation.
According to Cisco (https://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?type=webcontent&articleId=1853168) videos will account for 80% of Internet traffic from 2021. Consequently, video translation is a translation market that is unquestionably becoming increasingly important. Specializing in this area will pay off.
Regardless of whether it’s Youtube or streaming services such as Netflix, the market is vast and subtitling, dubbing, voice-over and localization are essential.
Voice Search – the new trend in the translation market
This opens up a whole new market for translators, one that has barely mattered to date, but which is and will become increasingly relevant as the number of language searches increases. For many, voice search is of particular interest where SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is concerned. This is due to the fact that a popular keyword in one language is not necessarily a popular keyword in another language and the literal translation does not always make sense.
Another fact not to be underestimated: People do not write the way they speak. Maybe they would type a search query like this: “Tapas Restaurant Barcelona” but using Voice Search would say “Where are the best tapas in Barcelona?” The differences in wording mean that websites are ranked differently.
For the translator this means a comprehensive keyword research for the target market and the creation of meaningful Snippets. Snippets are a sort of preview of the website content in the search results.
An industry in constant change
Machine translations are the future and the present and will continue to have a significant impact on the translation industry in 2019. With advancing technologies, entire fields of work are losing importance, while at the same time new ones are emerging or gaining relevance, such as voice search or video translations, which increasingly require human skills that machines do not have. Despite technical progress it is impossible to imagine the translation industry without human beings.