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The current state of the translation industry

On this 2021 International Translation Day, here’s an overview on the languages services industry. Including good news in the end!

Increase in translation needs

Let’s start with the best news on this International Translation Day! In 2021, employment shows steady growth. Employment for translation services providers looks even better now than prior to the pandemic, and this is mostly true worldwide, but especially true for North America, the EU, and Asia.

Marketing, computer software, education, SEO or healthcare translations, are in high demand, not to mention translation in the tourism industry. After the 2020 disruption, tourist sites promoted by cities, states and countries, but also hotel and resort chains, camps, or convention centers, competed to attract tourists and visitors.

Linguists are very busy

It is not uncommon to hear translators say that they are swamped with work. Likewise, interpreters keep busy, now that physical events are back in most countries while at the same time remote interpreting (either by phone or through video conferencing platforms) is still very thought after. A good number of countries show positive signs of economic recovery therefore the trend should go on.

In the EU, the language industry overall was somewhat less impacted than other industries, with translators having a better outcome than interpreters. Not surprisingly, audiovisual activities including subtitling and voice over increased.

Game translators and game localizers can also attest to a good year. Videogames have been a much needed distraction for all, in fact more than ever, since last year. As a result, videogames localization activity has been remarkable.

Essential tools

As for other noticable facts on the current state of the translation sector, automatic speech recognition (ASR), made the headlines several times over these last twelve months. ASR speeds up the transcription process since it really only requires a post-editor, and therefore the subtitling process has become faster.

Besides, machine translation (MT) gains more and more supporters, including in the audiovisual translation field, because it enhances the segmentation task thanks to knowledge acquired from human segmentation patterns. The process of creating subtitles has become easier and faster. More broadly, MTPE continues to rise as a popular tool.

To sum up, surveys accross the globe show rather optimistic expectations for the remainder of 2021 and then for next year.

Cheer to the positive outlook for linguists, on this special day! Happy International Translation Day!


– 2021 European Language Industry Survey (ELIS)

– Slator

– Nimdzi

– Globalization and Localization Association (GALA)

This article has been written by Marilène Haroux

Marilène was previously an Academic and a Translator. At Cultures Connection she used to be the Vendor Manager as well as Bid Manager. Now Marilène is the Bid and Communications Manager.