The Top Trends of Translation and Interpreting

By Angelo Cerasiotis

The uncertain times of the past two years have led to a large shift in the way language services providers operate. As the world around us changes, the ways in which we communicate evolve, too. No longer is face-to-face communication optimal or even possible so it is vital for the translation and interpreting companies to ensure that the services they provide are relevant, convenient and effective, catering to diverse audiences.

“Whilst COVID-19 has hit most industries extremely hard, language service providers with a strong technical infrastructure were able to not only survive the pandemic, but also to grow their businesses,” explains Sarah Hickey from Nimdzi Data Insights, during a Ticker Talks episode.

With the impact of COVID-19, translations and interpreting services have never been more essential in Australia and across the globe. At Polaron, we work hard at educating our clients and colleagues by offering regular professional development opportunities and up-to-date industry information. So, let’s look at the latest trends shaping the way for language services in 2022 and beyond. After all, since we don’t have a crystal ball, it’s good to be ahead of the curve.

TREND 1: TECHNOLOGY

As we become more and more reliant on the internet, the creative ways that we use technology to communicate is also undergoing a revolution. Now more than ever, technology is utilised to communicate effectively and efficiently in a society where recently in-person communication has often been limited.

Remote interpreting via phone and video has become even more common, as COVID-19 has pushed much of our daily lives online. Technology has come a long way since programs such as Google Translate were considered a serious threat to the interpreting profession. Nothing can replace the skill of a professional translator or interpreter when it comes to providing accurate, reliable and culturally sensitive translations.

“Technology has always been there, it’s becoming more pervasive and while that might phase out some aspects of translation, it also brings new opportunities,” says Christopher di Pasquale, a translator.

Currently, technology is utilised as a tool to help bridge the communication gap quickly. Programs dedicated to machine translation (MT) are being used by translators to assist in streamlining text, before being post-edited, to provide the most accurate information in another language at incredible speed and volume. Technology is here to stay in our industry, and it does not look to be slowing down in the foreseeable future. Whilst we don’t think human translators and interpreters are likely to be replaced by machines any time soon, technology can most certainly improve productivity, accuracy and overall effectiveness of their work. Technology advances such in machine learning and artificial intelligence are most certainly making their mark and changing the way translations are made today. Learn more about it here.

TREND 2: CO-DESIGN

The approach of participatory design enables organisations to better understand the community they want to connect with, by learning and working with members of that community whilst developing in-language resources.

Co-design is the hopeful future of the language service industry, as it unlocks a new way of translating that not only provides a better and more accurate content but also strengthens community ties with the organisation. Co-design encourages further discussion that goes beyond the production of resources. How community organisations and stakeholders choose to participate can drive the success of the current project, as well as future endeavours.

Recently, governments and community organisations have been using co-design to give communities more say with regards to the laws, policies and services that directly impact them. Being able to connect on this level allows them to better target individual communities’ wants and needs, in the most accurate manner.

It is no different when it comes to creating in-language resources. It is crucial that organisations understand the nuanced issues that many culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) community groups face, to properly support them. By allowing traditionally marginalised groups to voice their concerns in a supportive and facilitated way, organisations can connect on a deeper and more critical level. The benefits to co-designing resources are truly limitless. It’s time we take that step and evolve into the new era of communication. Contact us to to create your next translation through co-design.

TREND 3: GLOBALISATION

Globalisation is by no means a new way of going about our lives. Since the early 1900s, aspects of the globalised world we live in today were beginning to emerge. However, the impact of COVID-19 has drastically changed the way that globalisation occurs. Although physical interaction has been minimised, on a technological scale, we are more connected than ever.

Medical advances and the need for increased dissemination of health information has contributed largely to the growing demand of the translation and interpreting industry, as we globally come together in the fight against COVID-19. It has become increasingly important to be able to accurately translate medical research, to provide the most precise and up-to-date information.

Ensuring everyone has access to the most recent health information should be the priority but it hasn’t been without its challenges. As we start to move forward, giving communities accurate information and therefore better trust in the vaccine is highly important. This can only occur with the right type of communication channels, and often this is brought about by interpreters and translators.

The language service sector is a large and growing industry in Australia. The future for this industry relies heavily on the trends set out today and regardless of technological advances, this industry is here to stay. For more on the future of the language service industry, watch the full episode here on Ticker Talks.