The German translation industry is caught up in the same wave which is spreading its influence elsewhere in the world. The translation industry is affected by two main influences: the trend towards more and more globalisation, especially in the commercial sector, as well as the introduction of technology which improves the speed and efficiency of translation.
Germany is one of the world’s economic powerhouses, yet the German language is not nearly as widely spoken as English, Chinese, Spanish, and Russian. That makes German translation an especially important language service industry as German businesses attempt to communicate with the world and vice versa.
Apart from the obvious fact that the key trio of translation, interpretation, and localisation have not peaked and continue to grow in importance, there are other important trends that are more related to technological innovation.
Trend#1: The Emergence of New Languages in Translation
The main languages used within the translation industry have been those which are spoken by the most people: Chinese, English, Spanish and Russian. Add to them languages like French which is spoken in many countries around the world. Businesses are having to acknowledge the fact that people find it easier and more preferable to browse websites and read instructions on anything they use in their own language or dialect.
That means translating, for example, into the multiplicity of Chinese languages and dialects that exist across China, rather than just Mandarin (standard Chinese). It means translating to and from Portuguese, the language of Brazil, South America’s largest economy. It means translating to and from Arabic, a language used from Morocco in the west to Iraq in the East.
Trend#2 Translation of Video Content will Increase
More and more commercial marketing and information sharing is done through the use of video. This has opened up a whole new field for the language translation industry.
Trend#3 Subtitling has Overtaken Dubbing
Subtitling versus dubbing as a debate has been around for a long time, with the preference in the past for dubbing. That seems to have now reversed, with subtitling becoming more pronounced. Part of this is due to the fact that greater numbers of people in the younger age brackets are watching films and prefer to turn the sound off while watching. They also seem to prefer seeing the actual words in print.
Trend#4 The Translation Service Industry will be More Involved in Elearning
eLearning is becoming more and more important for translation industry, especially for multinational businesses and businesses that have branches in other countries. While in-house translation teams might still retain their importance in large companies, there will be more work for translators in actually translating courses in the key languages used by the staff of an individual business.