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Top 8 Translation Industry Trends (2023 Outlook)

While 2022 demonstrated a 3.2% global economic growth rate (a slowdown from 2021’s 6% growth), 2023 is anticipated to experience a further slowdown to 2.7% due to continued inflation and speculation of an impending financial crisis. 

In the language translation industry, this doesn’t necessarily spell danger. In fact, we anticipate it is going to be a catalyst for an accelerated focus on productivity in the language translation industry in 2023. This is considering some organizations face the challenge of requiring more translations with smaller budgets to work with. 

Here are the top 18 language translation industry trends 2023 is likely to bring. 

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1. Pre-Editing Machine Translations

One of our top 2023 translation industry trend predictions is that organizations will begin to dedicate more resources to the pre-editing of machine translations. Pre-editing is a necessary part of generating custom machine translations on-the-fly with cutting-edge machine translation engines such as Amazon Translate (AWS) and artificial intelligence technologies (such as OpenAI).

Pre-editing involves a time investment to build a glossary optimized for machine translation. Pre-editing helps organizations to yield more savings in terms of translation-related costs, hours worked and effort. The translation productivity and quality gains are impressive and continuous. 

2. Demand for Freelance Translators

Freelance translators are likely to continue to be in demand as a 2023 translation industry trend, even in the event that the economy experiences a recession. 

In fact, “employment of interpreters and translators is projected to grow 20 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations,” according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With the rising adoption of AI, it’s no surprise that many human translators are wondering “can machine translation replace human translation?” However, they are still essential to organizations that need human-quality translation in 2023. 

For example, with the anticipated growth of machine translation pre-editing and its nuances, enterprises will continue to rely on freelance translators. Especially for glossary development.

3. Term Base Productivity Tools

Another 2023 translation industry trend to anticipate is that CAT tool vendors will begin to integrate new productivity features for term base glossary development. A term base glossary is an essential component of terminology management

With the increasing popularity of pre-editing, translators who are hired to develop glossaries are likely to seek computer-aided assistance in the process. If this happens, the demand of these features and the development of them will likely follow.

Machine Translation Glossary Development Services

Language service providers regularly offer term base glossary development as a service. However, we foresee one of the growing 2023 translation industry trends to be an emphasis on selling “machine translation glossary development.”

What exactly does this involve? Machine translation glossaries demand particular attention to “word shapes” and the omission of non-ambiguous terms that have only one meaning. Therefore, with the increasing adoption of machine translation software and custom translations, there’s likely to be an increase in service offerings for machine translation glossary development in particular.

4. Advanced AI 

Open AI’s ChatGPT technology is one of the most-discussed translation industry trends 2023 has seen yet. 

You can prompt this AI chatbot with commands that can quickly perform a variety of language processing tasks, including language translation. In regards to translation, it’s most useful for fiction prose. It hasn’t proven as effective for nonfiction works (such as educational material or technical translations). 

To be most effective for high-quality enterprise translation, the OpenAI technology needs to be integrated with a translation management system. At Pairaphrase we’re adding OpenAI as a translation engine option for users of our enterprise translation management system.

5. eLearning Translation

According to Forbes, eLearning is projected to grow to a $325 billion industry by 2025. That being said, we predict multilingual eLearning to be a major translation industry trend in 2023. Especially as the “knowledge economy” continues to grow.

This means an uptick in translation demand for multilingual video captions/subtitles, voice-overs and audio, XLIFF files, and other mediums popularly used in online training. We also expect rising demand for eLearning translation software.

6. Demand for Specialized Translators

Another 2023 translation industry trend we anticipate is demand for specialized translators in the renewable energy sector. 

With an increased focus on energy cited in last year’s predictions, we have since seen the passage of The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This climate-focused legislation includes $425 million of climate-focused funding which will go toward manufacturing, workforce deployment & training, systems planning, security and more in respect to the renewable energy sector. 

Therefore, we predict an increase in the development of communication materials that include related terminology. Hence the uptick in demand for specialized translators and glossary development.

7. Modernization of CAT Tool User Interfaces

In 2023, translation industry professionals use a lot of CAT tools that are less-than-user-friendly, and users are increasingly voicing their concerns in public online forums. Common complaints include confusing toolbars, technical glitches and too much training required to learn how to use software successfully. 

That being said, we predict CAT tool vendors will begin to respond with efforts to modernize their software interfaces so that they are easier to use and more intuitive. 

8. Demand for Enterprise-Level Security 

This 2023 translation industry trend is an important one within the realm of security, just as it was in last year’s predictions. While we’ll continue to see the growing adoption of enterprise security in translation software, we expect to see an emphasis on the following security features in particular:

  • “No return to machine translation providers”
  • Encrypted file storage in transit, in use and at rest
  • Identity management (e.g. SSO, OKTA, Microsoft Azure AD, etc.)
  • User permission controls (e.g. roles, translation memory group permissions, etc.)
  • Multi-factor authentication and dynamic token login

Modernize Your Translations in 2023 

Want an enterprise translation management system that keeps up with the times? Pairaphrase delivers a suite of powerful translation tools in a web-based environment. Choose translation software that allows you to jump on board with many of the 2023 translation trends listed above.

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