Video killed the radio star. The car spelled the end of the horse-and-buggy. A lot of translators are starting to feel less like valued-professionals and more like unwanted antiques. Many of my peers are so frightened of developments like machine translation and AI that they cannot see its benefits. But, I understand such technological progress can be a boon to our industry and—by extension—you. Join me as I explore five trends affecting the translation industry.
The big machine translators are finally starting to realize how much value lies in artificial intelligence and deep learning. By connecting CAT with high-end recognition techniques, AI allows translators and project managers to recognize usage patterns. This results in quicker, more intuitive translations. The Product Owner at memoQ, Zsolt Varga, says that, “Machines will likely play an important supporting role to increase human productivity and value.” But, he’s generally pessimistic about its long-term impact. Others believe that AI will one day bring real-time translation into our grasps. Personally, I think that’s a long way off. Either way, I do expect to see more MT companies using AI and deep learning in their software.
Clients are demanding simplicity and speed. As Lukasz Rejter of memoQ puts it: “Clients, by default, do not really care about files, formats, structures, and workflow characteristics – they only deal with these because and when they absolutely must. From their perspective they have a text, a string, a file, an application or a site to be localized – and they expect it to happen.” Clients don’t want to see their information bounce from CMS to CAT to email. They want everything managed in one easy-to-use environment. This has led to a rise of complete package solutions. In the past year, the lines between many translation processes have begun to blur. As these systems converge, we’ll all benefit from easier access, increased speeds, and easier automation.
The translation and localization processes of today are a world apart from what they were 20 years ago. Back then, CAT tools were simply that: tools. They were designed to fulfill a simple need. As client demands grew more complex, however, providers rushed to fill in the gaps. Buttons were added. Dashboards doubled in size. This has resulted in CAT software that’s needlessly complex and nearly impossible for inexperienced users to navigate. In 2018, I suspect that many CAT providers will release updates with more minimalistic, customizable interfaces. This will make it easier for translators to get their jobs done. I have one thing to say about that: Hallelujah!
Everyone has their head in the clouds these days. Or, at the very least, most companies are interested in how cloud computing can help their company. And, many translators are starting to look at how it can be used for the localization process. When asked about the likelihood of the cloud taking over in the near future, one expert hypothesized, “Although cloud technologies are getting more and more popular, and we are using many of them in our daily work, in the translation business a complete take-over by cloud and SaaS technologies is a definite no-go anytime soon.” As cloud is less secure than other options, it’s unlikely that it will ever be used for super-sensitive translations. I do think, however, that translators and clients alike should take a look at cloud-based options. Cloud computing’s enhanced flexibility, improved scalability, and increased centralization are worth the effort.
Sandor Papp, the Event Marketing Manager at memoQ, once said, “Our bet for a 2018 trend therefore is this: the year will see a significant increase in demand for video translations and we will also see translation providers adding items to their offerings to ride this wave.” I agree with him. From augmented reality platforms, such as Walmart’s 3D shopping experience, to YouTube videos, of which 300 hours of are uploaded every minute, multimedia content is becoming increasingly popular. To remain relevant, my colleagues are going to have to become more comfortable with video editing and other multimedia tools. As a marketing specialist, I’m already ahead of the curve on this one.
As you can see, translation is a field constantly in flux. Driven by changes in client demand, many providers are moving towards simper, faster processes. As AI and AR become commonplace, translators are going to have to adapt to a future where their value truly lies in their ability to rise above the machines. Since none of these technologies can replace real translators, however, you’re likely still in the market for a great Swedish translator.
If that’s the case, you can go ahead and contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit swedishtranslationservices.com to learn more about my services.