2022 Translation Industry Trends to Anticipate
Exploring the latest translation industry trends? 2022 is emerging as not only one of the most anticipated years for pandemic recovery; it’s also going to reflect a “settling in” to new modes of enterprise operation that were intensely deliberated last year.
2021 demonstrated a 6% global economic growth rebound. And as it goes, whenever global growth enters the discussion, so does multilingual communication.
Here are the top 10 language translation industry trends 2022 is likely to bring.
10 Translation Industry Trends for 2022
1. AI Adoption by Major Machine Translation Tools
One of our top 2022 translation industry trend predictions is the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) with the major machine translation tools.
While AI technology has been accessible in premium translation software solutions for some time, we predict 2022 will see the beginning of more wide-scale adoption of AI from translation tools that have offered only raw machine translation up until now.
It’s likely these more advanced capabilities will be marketed in premium subscriptions geared toward enterprise users.
Pre-Editing Machine Translations
The next wave of AI-led development will include the ability to use terminology glossaries to interactively improve machine translations and create custom translations. This will lead to tangible quality gains for users that know what their translation needs are and can plan ahead.
Instead of editing a translation after it’s been generated (post-editing), users will pre-edit their machine translation system. This means they will upload the terms they want the system to use. In effect, this will eliminate the need to post-edit the machine translation.
In addition to using glossaries to produce custom translations, more and more systems will offer on-the-fly machine translation training. This means that the machine translation will perform machine learning to produce custom translations during the actual translation request (instead of beforehand).
2. SEO in Localization
The increasing involvement of SEO in the localization process is another one of our anticipated translation industry trends in 2022.
As it is, businesses are relying more on SEO in 2022 to acquire new customers after losing traction on social media in a post iOS 14.5 world. Therefore, we predict the translation industry will begin to see more emphasis on the inclusion of SEO keywords in termbase glossaries.
In localization projects, it will become commonplace for companies to hire SEO copywriters to work under tight character count restrictions and brand guidelines before projects are sent to translation. This takes considerable effort, so it makes sense for glossaries to include company-approved reusable terms that not only align with branding, but also SEO strategy and character count requirements.
3. Uptick in Freelance Translator Demand
Demand for freelance translators will grow as a 2022 translation industry trend as both employee turnover rates and economic growth are sustained.
With workers moving around more frequently and saying no to unfavorable work arrangements, enterprises that previously relied on bilingual employees to translate content will increasingly turn to freelance translators.
4. Increasing Requests for Fast Translation Turnaround
As the world places more emphasis on 4-day work weeks, we predict it will bring the demand for faster turnaround times. This is a translation trend in 2022 that will be a side effect of the focus on business growth conflicting with truncated work weeks.
Popular among employees and employers attempting to retain talent, 3-day weekends means that employees who are typically leveraged for translation projects will be asked to accelerate translation projects to offset delayed turnaround.
5. Demand for Translators Specialized in Growing Industries
Another 2022 translation industry trend in which we anticipate growth is the demand for specialized translators in growing industries.
While we can expect continued growth for the industries cited in last year’s predictions, we also anticipate growth in hospitality, transportation and energy. Therefore, there will be an increase in the development of communication materials that include specialized terminology.
Hence the uptick in demand for specialized translators and glossary development.
6. Blockchain Enters 2022 Translation Industry Conversations
In the translation industry, 2022 will begin to hear whispers of how blockchain technology will benefit translation management in the future. Security, accuracy and real-time translation post-editing transparency are factors likely to be addressed with blockchain.
While we don’t predict drastic progress will be made in applying blockchain to translation this year, we do think this will be the year the discussions gain traction.
7. Podcast Translation Services
Podcasting has exploded in popularity, and its growth won’t stop any time soon. As successful podcasters make plans to grow and reach international audiences with their messages, we forecast more podcast translation services to emerge as a 2022 translation market trend.
8. Identity Management in Translation Software
This 2022 translation industry trend is an important one within the realm of security. While we’ll continue to see the growing adoption of enterprise security in translation solutions, identity management will be one of the newest additions to many translation software platforms.
Third party “identity and access management” services such as OKTA, SSO and Microsoft Azure AD will become more common. Some of the benefits include reduced password and access issues, as well as improving efficiency for IT teams.
9. SMS Marketing Localization Demands
While SMS marketing has already begun to infiltrate the ecommerce world, perfecting it for a multitude of language pairs will be the next challenge. That’s why we forecast SMS marketing localization as a translation industry trend in 2022.
As the technical limitations of the SMS format present localization difficulties, we’ll see a growing standard for higher-quality SMS marketing messages. This translation trend will be driven by the highly-proven success and growing adoption of SMS as a marketing channel.
10. Digitization & Translation of Hard Documents
This 2022 translation industry trend might seem outdated at first glance. However, as office spaces become obsolete (or partially obsolete), companies will need to find more accessible storage space for the hard documents previously stored in file cabinets.
So what’s the lowest-cost, safest and most centralized storage space? The cloud.
Consequently, we predict an increasing demand for digitization, which will require paper documents to be scanned. As scanned PDF documents are created in the digitization process, we expect to see an uptick in scanned PDF translation requests as a downstream effect.
Scanned document translation should be in its own class of translation due to its notoriety for involving technical obstacles.
Continued Translation Trends
Last year, we forecasted an increased demand for post-editing. Similarly, we anticipate an uptick in demand this year for translators who know how to post-edit machine translation. This, in addition to the other 2021 trends, are expected to continue to grow throughout 2022.
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