Business Translation Center

US predicts strong future for business translation

by OFER TIROSH 04/04/2018

In an age when machines are rapidly taking over more and more roles previously fulfilled by humans, many have worried about the future of the professional translation industry. This has been of particular concern of late, given Microsoft’s announcement that it has achieved parity between machine translation and human translation on a series of test sentences. 

However, the translation industry is far from going under. In fact, the latest figures (updated January 2018) from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) project a rosy future for the sector over the next decade, with growth far outstripping the national average. 

According to the BLS data, ‘Interpreters and Translators’ are predicted to experience job growth of 18% in the decade to 2026, increasing from 68,200 jobs in 2016 to 80,300 just ten years later. That compares to average job growth of 7% across ‘All Occupations’ over the same period. 

It seems, then, that the US government isn’t betting on a revolutionary breakthrough in machine technology anytime soon, despite recent advances in neural networks and deep learning. 

The BLS figures also highlight how wages for interpreters and translators compare to the national average, with salaries standing at $46,120 (as at May 2016), compared to an average ‘All Workers’ median of $37,040. 

The significant cost of employing skilled linguists is why many companies choose to outsource their translation work. Maintaining in-house staff is an expensive practice, so using an external agency can be far more cost effective. A professional translation service also offers far more language pairings and specialist translation knowledge than a single translator can provide. 

If your business needs translation work undertaken, whether as a one-off job or on an ongoing basis, it’s time to talk to Tomedes. Our professional linguists have the skills and knowledge that your company needs. We’re here to take your translations to the next level.