Taking one piece of content and turning it into something that can be understood by those who speak another language is a powerful and important skill. The world has always needed translators, and it always will.
While many industries seem to be on a downward spiral, translation businesses have boomed.
In fact, as of 2023, there are over 75,200 translation businesses in the United States alone. Year after year, the translation market has been steadily growing.
While the translation market has been growing, so has the need for translators. The market even grew during COVID-19, rather than slowing down.
After the pandemic, the translation services market grew by 40%. But what is driving this need to translate, and why is it such an essential direction for marketers and business owners to look into?
In this blog, we’ll help you understand the factors that are powering the growth of the industry and cementing the job security of translators across the globe and in the United States.
1. The Changing Face of America
The growth of the translation market is reflective of the growing diversity found within the United States. As the landscape of America continues to change, more languages and cultures are continually being introduced.
Whether at work, at school, or out in town, we all interact with people who speak different languages.
After all, there are between 350 and 430 languages spoken within the United States, which makes it one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world.
As more and more language inclusivity is introduced into the United States, the need for translators will increase with it.
This is because businesses are appealing to a range of cultural groups with advertisements and business pages in multiple languages.
2. The World is Shrinking as Businesses Expand
Companies are now going global searching for more clientele. Not long ago, a U.S.-based company would be mostly active in the United States.
But today’s technology allows businesses to reach further.
Now, companies that wish to go global need to learn how to market their service or product(s) to prospective clients in other countries in their native language.
This means that there’s an urgent need for the translation of all sorts of documents such as logos, slogans, ads, brochures, instructions, and websites.
3. Wait. Why translate at all?
Why do businesses bother to translate their documents? Doesn’t almost everyone speak English? According to the American Translators Association, this is a common misconception in English-speaking countries.
The ATA says that only 17% of the world’s population speaks English natively. Research indicates that we all strongly prefer using our own language when we spend our money, surf the web, etc.
So, to avoid misunderstood or misinterpreted messages, most successful businesses hire qualified translators to get their points across effectively. It may cost some money, but it makes sense when the message is received well and the bottom line skyrockets due to added efforts to translate.
No matter the document, quality translators help companies entering the global market look more polished. They help avoid embarrassing gaffes and the dreaded international “advertising fail” list.
Translators with knowledge of medical terminology are translating documents into other languages and saving lives!
Translators with legal expertise ensure that legal documents are accurate. Literary translators make sure the nuance and “color” of the source language rings true.
Individuals are also using translators. They need driver’s licenses, marriage, and birth certificates translated. Wills, court transcripts, service agreements, and other legal documents also require solid translation.
4: Business Travel Is on the Rise
After most types of travel halted during COVID-19, business travel is back on the rise.
Travel trajectories are back on the rebound in the United States and in Europe, even surpassing half the levels of travel that were around pre-pandemic in 2019.
This trend is expected to continue until business travel recovers to the full level of pre-pandemic corporate travel.
Because people are starting to move around the world for business again, there has been increased pressure on the translation market.
Businesses must be prepped and ready to make new connections and present high-quality materials in native languages.
5: Companies Need to Be Competitive in the Global Market
The global market is always growing, which means that more and more businesses are conducting business in international markets.
Along with strengthening brands worldwide, companies are also investing in translators to ensure their messages are heard around the world.
More shoppers are looking across borders to find the perfect products. According to PayPal, 57% of online shoppers have bought products from outside their home countries.
In addition, people are 75% more likely to purchase products from websites in their native languages.
These factors combined mean that having your products and website translated into more languages increases the chance of sales by more than 50%.
6: Communication Is Key to Good Business
Person-to-person connection is the keystone of good business. When you are working in global markets, however, this becomes more difficult to accomplish.
If you are unable to speak directly to people in new areas of the globe, then you can still interact with them using translated materials and business assets.
The top five languages that international marketing content is translated into are English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and French.
By localizing content and providing more than one language translation on website pages, you can grow your international audience and improve communication, even without spoken words.
Translation services help make sure that the context of translations is accurate and take things like local dialects and idioms into account during the translation process.
7: Computers and Artificial Intelligence Are Helping People
The rise of computers and artificial intelligence (AI) has helped people and businesses expand into new markets.
Machine translation alone is valued at $650 million, and it is expected to reach $3 billion by 2027. Machine translation services from companies like Apple and Google have helped people expand their ability to communicate with others online and in business.
However, these AI translation services are far from perfect. Anyone who has tried to translate phrases in Google has found that the results don’t always mean what you are trying to say.
The direct translation of words doesn’t always match the context they are provided, which can lead to awkward interactions.
In a business environment, it becomes even more important to ensure that translations are accurate and reflect the meaning behind the message.
Human professionals in the translation market can ground and contextualize the work of AI translators, making the result more targeted to specific audiences.
Human translators have in-depth knowledge of the languages they speak, and they are usually backed by advanced degrees, certifications, and years of experience.
They can also understand the meaning behind idioms and turn off phrases that are missed and mistranslated by machines.
In addition, human translators can translate meaning from one language and culture to another without losing any of the tone, message, or nuance. Because of this, there is and always will be a need for human translators to power the growing translation industry.
So, no matter the state of the economy, no matter how small or heterogeneous the world gets, we still need to communicate with one another.
As long as there are languages mingling on the world stage, there will be translators.
If you are looking for translation services, then look no further than WriterAccess.
At WriterAccess, you get access to vetted professionals who can take your business or marketing copy and translate it into flawless, easily understandable content for multiple global markets.
Our translators cover some of the most popular languages for global translation, along with more niche languages for key markets.
To learn more, visit WriterAccess today and get a free 14-day trial of our translation services.