What can Translators Expect in the Future?

Tech Comm specialist, Stefan Gentz, summed up some of the translation challenges for the future at the 2015 Institute of Translation and Interpreting Conference.

He came out with the following leading points related to modern translation

    • Translation has gone global and this can be seen clearly by the volume of translation services that are online these days. It is expected that before the next decade has finished most translation will be cloud based.
    • Clients expect translations to be done quickly so that means NAATI translators have to adapt to new technology and use it in order to meet client demands.faster translation.
    • Clients expect the costs of their professional translation services to drop considerably so that they can get their translations done in a cost-effective manner especially as the volume of words needing translations often top hundreds of thousands of words and the costs could be prohibitive if they are not lowered from their current rate.
    • Translators need to take on technology more than ever before so that they can meet the requirements for providing cost-effective translations that match their clients content requirements.
    • Each day, data reaching 3 trillion gigabytes is produced, offering endless opportunities for eager translators, but human translators have been slow to respond. Microsoft and Google have taken the largest chunk of the translator market. Google can translate more words a minute than the total of all human translators yearly.
    • Global business would not exist without translations, so the human translation world has to take on this challenge and not sit back and later wonder what happened.

This is the time for human translators to stop worrying about quality and focus on offering a similar service to Microsoft and Google. Machine translations are getting better and better and it is expected within the next 10 years to be at least as good as human translations. Gurdeep Pall, the vice president of Microsoft’s corporate sector, believes that translation facilities should be freely available at no cost.

With the way the access to“Freebies” are just about the norm, such as Facebook and Gmail, there is no telling how far Microsoft and Google are prepared to go when machine translations become as good or even better than human translators, rapidly becoming the norm. The way that the human translation services market could capitalise on trends now and into the future using current machine translation technology is to develop business models that offer various grades of service ranging from free translations through to a standard translation and a more superior premium translation. This will expose translators to all the different possibilities of earning an income from their skills.

How Global Brand Websites are Lost In Translation

It’s quite realistic to assume that when websites are translated into many different languages that sales will be boosted. Consumers are far more likely to buy from a website in their own language and spend longer browsing too. It is taking a long time for global brands to realise the importance of using professional translation services to get their websites and product information translated into global languages.

It is of course not necessarily straightforward when translating brand information as there are variations in the way countries who seemingly speak the same language have local differences that are not necessarily that easy to understand. For example, in the United States, the name for sports shoes is “sneakers” while in Britain the word used is “trainers.” These are two totally different words which only the people from those countries would clearly understand.

Some businesses have begun to learn about these language variations such as Tory Burch who uses different words for his U.S. site and his British site when marketing clothing. He sells “sweaters” in the U.S. and “jumpers” in Britain which are two different words used for the same type of clothing.

Website language is important

If your business fails to take notice of the nuances in a language then sales performance will not be so good. This is partly due to the search words potential customers may use. If Tory Burch used the word jumper on his U.S. site but the term used for this item of clothing in the U.S. is sweater then few people will be directed to his website when they use their specific search term.

Glossaries are built up by translators who work for translation services in Australia so that when they are asked to perform a translation they have a good idea of what terms are used in the country in question for certain words related to the product information being translated. It has taken time for these glossaries to be formed as global brands have only fairly recently seen the importance of translating websites and product descriptions into the type of language used by their potential customers.

Glossaries for Spanish customers from Spain may be different from those compiled for Argentinean customers. This is the same for documents such as legal documents as different terms may be used for legal concepts in different countries so a word by word translation is not possible. Document translation services have slowly built up glossaries so they can better meet the needs of their international clients by ensuring the correct legal terms are used.