Top 2019 translation trends

October 17, 2018
Top 2019 translation trends

As each new year approaches, the Tomedes team gazes into the crystal ball to see what the future will hold. Our expert linguists have identified four 2019 translation trends that bear looking into by those translators looking to stay at the cutting edge of the industry: video translation, post-editing machine translation, voice search/SEO translation and cannabis company translation. 

2019 translation trend: video translation

The continuing popularity of video as a method of delivering content means that video translation will remain as one of the top translation trends for 2019. Translators need to be au fait with time stamping and subtitling in order to provide video translation services. Being able to type fast also helps, as transcription usually plays a large role in video translation too. You can use either a traditional foot pedal for transcription work, or an app that allows you to start and stop the file via on-screen controls. 

Post-editing machine translation

The big players still haven’t cracked machine translation, despite huge investment in deep learning and neural networks. Microsoft has shown some promising results, but only on a small test sample. As such, companies using machine translation are still getting disappointing results, with text riddle with grammatical errors and nonsensical phrasing. As such, translators providing post-editing machine translation are likely to be in hot demand in 2019. 

Unlike video translation, you don’t need specialist skills for post-editing machine translation, beyond the usual linguistic talents that you need in the first place in order to be a translator. What you do need, however, is a good sense of humour and a large dose of patience. Working with the convoluted language that machines produce can at times be a frustrating process, meaning that taking on large post-editing machine translation jobs is not for the faint of heart! 

Voice search/SEO translation 

Companies looking to take advantage of globalisation by selling their goods and services overseas often start with website translation. To fully support them with this process, translators should be able to offer assistance with keyword research and integration in the target language. Often this will require some reworking of the text, rather than just direct translation, so requires close working with the client. 

To further complicate matters, the rising popularity of voice search is pushing companies to strive for the very top position in search engine results even more than previously. comScore has projected that 50% of all searches will be made by voice instead of typing by 2020 – and 2020 is just around the corner! This means that translators who can help with search engine optimisation (SEO), particularly with a view to providing perfect answer box snippets, should be well positioned for a busy 2019. 

Cannabis company translation 

The final 2019 translation trend flagged up by the Tomedes team is translation for cannabis companies. Cannabis is now legal for adult recreational use in eight states in the US, plus legal for medical purposes in many more states. It is also legal for recreational use in Uruguay and, as of 17 October 2018, Canada. 

Within Europe, cannabis use for medical purposes is becoming more widely accepted and the drug is already decriminalised in Portugal and the Netherlands. African nations are getting on board too, with both Lesotho and Zimbabwe legalising marijuana for medical purposes. South Africa, meanwhile, ruled in September 2018 that the use of cannabis by adults in private places is no longer a crime. 

This growing trend towards both medical and recreational use means that the cannabis industry is moving from being an underground movement to a professional business sector. This is leading to an increase in demand for professional translation services for cannabis companies, which looks set to boom in 2019. 

Final thoughts

What else do you think will be big news in the translation sector in 2019? Have we identified all of the New Year translation trends, or will there be other specialisms that are top of clients’ lists of demands in 2019? Leave a comment to share your thoughts!

By Ofer Tirosh

Ofer Tirosh is the founder and CEO of Tomedes, a language technology and translation company that supports business growth through a range of innovative localization strategies. He has been helping companies reach their global goals since 2007.



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