Despite the increase in the use of machine translation, the human translation industry is still racing along and there is no indication it’s going to slow down.

Translation Industry

  • According to Common Sense Advisory, a think tank for the translation industry, the industry in 2012 was worth U.S. $33.5 billion and was on the rise.
  • IBISWorld stated that an increase in overseas expansion and globalisation will mean a 4.9 percent yearly growth rate in the global translation industry is forecast.
  • The 2014 Occupational Outlook Handbook published by The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said that in 2015 the translation market will grow by 46% by the 2020. This will mean a rise from around 60,000 job openings to 93,000.

  • Another fact is that translators are experiencing an increase in job vacancies in translation.
  • The rates for translators’ services are going up.
  • Online job boards are advertising for more language specialists.
  • Recent search using the words, either “interpreter” or “translator” on the job site yielded 788 jobs that had been posted in a single week. If the words “bilingual” or “linguist” were added this revealed 16,176 in the U.S. alone.
  • More funding than ever has been provided to new translation start-ups.

It seems that pay will remain stable as clients recognise the need to get quality translations.

Things that help promote the translation industry are:

  1. Consistent hard working translators
  2. Ability for translators to adapt and change as required
  3. Being able to alter translation practice when related to the introduction of new technology.
  4. Overall the introduction of new translation technology has caused an increase in opportunities for translators not lowered it so this should be accepted and used accordingly
  5. A professional translator needs to develop their knowledge base so they know a little more than the basics when related to such things as business writing, web design, localization and image manipulation. This helps the client see how a translation will affect his image of the document translated.
  6. Ability to provide more than a translation but have more knowledge about language issues as a whole

If you are part of the human translation industry yourself you haven’t got too much to worry about at least in the near future.