Top 2018 translation trends

December 13, 2017
Top 2018 translation trends

It’s that time of year once more when the Tomedes team gazes into its collective crystal ball and flags up some of the top translation trends for the year ahead. This time last year, we flagged up both video translation and app translation as key growth areas for 2017 and our work over the course of the last year has certainly borne out those predictions. Now, it’s time to take a look at the top translation and localisation trends for 2018. 

Translation into less common languages

The spread of digital technology around the world continues relentlessly. According to Internet World Stats, the growth rate of internet access in Africa from 2000 to 2017 stands at 8,503%. That’s followed by growth of 4,374% in the Middle East. 

As the world becomes ever more globally connected, translation into less common languages looks set to increase. There’s more to connecting with those around us than technology – we also need to be able to communicate across linguistic borders. While those looking to crack machine translation once and for all (which we don’t believe will happen in 2018, by the way) focus on the 40 or so most commonly used languages around the world, demand for the translation of less commonly used languages looks set to spike. 

Post-editing of machine translation

Having raised the subject of machine translation, this is something that we believe will have an impact on the translation industry during 2018. Not because it will suddenly work flawlessly and put a whole generation of those working in professional translation out of work, but because more people will use it in order to try and cut costs. 

The result will be plenty of clients with imperfect translations looking for a professional translation service to correct the machine translation’s mistakes. This post-editing of machine translation is a symptom of the continuing flaws in machine translation. Despite many high profile claims of companies providing the ‘best ever’ and ‘most accurate’ machine translation, professional human translators still have the edge. 

Thus clients with disappointing machine translation results will increasingly seek out the services of translators who can help them to turn their machine translations into proper, professionally produced translations. Translation engines working with artificial intelligence and neural networks may sound impressive, but they’re not yet as impressive as the innate abilities of the human brain! 

Video translation

Ok, so we already included this in our 2017 translation trend predictions. However, video translation stands up to inclusion in our 2018 translation trends list too. Facebook alone generates around 8 billion video views per day, while 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. These staggering figures are increasingly dramatically with every passing year and video is fast becoming the preferred content medium for many of those using smartphones, social media and other forms of technology and communication. 

As such, video translation will remain a key translation trend over the course of 2018, with demand continuing to grow as video creators reach out to new audiences around the world. Translators looking to stay one step ahead of the curve will no doubt want to familiarise themselves with the particular skills required for video translation, from knowing which software to use and which sound effects to include (and which to ignore) to methods of ensuring absolute accuracy when timestamping. 

Final thoughts

What else do you foresee happening in the translation industry in 2018? Will you be focusing on providing any particular specialisms over the course of the coming year in response to growing demand? We’d love to hear about your plans, so please leave a comment below to share your projections for the future. 

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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