The future for human translators
You might think that advances in technology will spell the end of the human translator! Well we’ve been hearing that for decades and statistics show the industry is growing fast. Chin is already embracing technology and data from its 30 years of work to speed up and enhance the work of our in-house (human) translation team.
Translation and interpreting are global professions. The employment of interpreters and translators is projected to grow 24 percent from 2020 to 2030 (Source:US Bureau of Labor), much faster than the average for all occupations. Covid has accelerated the demand and importance of human translation.
- The global language services industry was worth approximately US $49.6 billion in 2019. And it’s forecast to be worth US $73.6 billion by 2025. (Statista).
Following on from our recent article about how to use machine translation and when you must have a human translator, we concluded that human translators will always have a job. The influence of culture, semantics, syntax, humour and the ability of humans to think critically about context and nuance and especially culture gaps will see human translation continuing to grow.
While Covid has kept us apart, in the interpreting world it has brought us together with remote video interpreting being the means of keeping business (and lives) going. Chin’s work, as an example, spans not only Australia but also the US, China, New Zealand, UK, Taiwan and Singapore and the settings include training, business meetings, conferences and webinars, courts, education, investment pitches and, of course, health topics.
According to data:
- The global language services market was valued at approximately USD 49.6 billion in 2019. It has since risen to USD 56.18 billion in 2021, which shows a growth of almost USD 7 billion in just two years (Statista).
- The translation service market size grew by 40% during COVID-19. (Market Research Future)
- The machine translation market alone was valued at USD 154 million in 2020 (Mordor Intelligence) and is expected to reach USD 3 billion by 2027 (Global Market Insights).
- In 2020, the demand for translation in healthcare increased by 49% due to the need to dispense COVID-19 healthcare information (European Commission).
- The employment of translators and interpreters is expected to increase by 24% from 2020 to 2030, which far exceeds the average rate of 4% for all occupations (US Bureau of Labor).
Translations Gone Wild
We can’t put all of these errors down to machines, but we know you love reading bloopers we’ve tracked down:
Another Covid clanger (definitely a machine to blame here): to ‘book” an appointment became a “book” you read in Spanish. A problem when encouraging people to get the jab.
Not the sort of sign this restaurant was hoping for and another Chinese machine translation “error”:
Signs seem to show how not to use a dictionary or do word for word translations:
And in these Covid times, this one seems to capture the mood:
Hoping you got a laugh! LOL (it works on google translate 哈哈)!