Five Localization Industry Trends for 2018

Five Localization Industry Trends for 2018

After a year of industry trials and tribulations with the exponential growth of neural machine translation, the release of new automated interpreting technology, and the boost in online video and e-learning content, language service providers have had to constantly adapt and innovate in a plethora of technological growth to stay head and shoulders above the rest.

It comes as no surprise, therefore, that as we look into the magic eight ball and analyze the future trends of 2018, we focus quite heavily on how technology will shape our industry even further over the next 12 months.

Here are five trends to be on the lookout for in 2018:

1) Increased usage in Neural + Adaptive Machine Translation

The development of neural machine translation (NMT) tools has seen significant investment this year and NMT output has been improving in leaps and bounds. With language service providers eager to offer high-quality machine translation output, we predict that not only will usage and investment in NMT increase, we will also see how adaptive machine translation will be integrated into translation management systems and CAT tools. This will promote an industry shift from the existing setup where linguists primarily translate files, to future models where linguists focus on post-editing high-quality machine translation content.

2) Higher demand for multilingual digital content

With increasing demand from search engines propelling companies to develop new content, and as the consolidation of new products feeds through into the marketplace, the demand to translate and localize digital content is set to expand considerably in 2018. We predict that the demand for multilingual digital content will increase exponentially, which will further consolidate the language industry’s existing strong growth.

3) Continued high demand for video content

According to a report from Cisco, online video will be responsible for 80% of global Internet traffic by 2019, and with that comes a ramp up in making video available in dozens of languages. With e-learning platforms, Massive Open Online Courses (known as “MOOCs”) and YouTube gaining traction, the language services industry will need to keep pace with the demand for video localization which we predict will snowball in 2018.

4) Improvement of automated interpreting technology

Google’s newly released headphones, which offer real-time translation of spoken content, have set a precedent for commercially-available automated interpreting solutions. While the technology is still not as good as human interpreters, we are edging closer to new future services which combine machine translation with speech-to-speech technology for clients looking for “good enough” interpreting solutions. We predict that 2018 will bring additional development and investment in this area.

5) LSPs will clamber for new ISO certifications 

The International Organization for Standardization has responded to the technological developments and continual growth of the language services industry with one new standard, the ISO 18587:2017, published in April 2017. No prizes are given for guessing that this standard is for post-editing of machine translation output, given the colossal projected volumes as described previously. Not only do we predict that more and more language service providers will go for this standard, but we also predict they will go for the ISO 21720 (for XML localization interchange file format, released in November 2017), in addition to the ISO 18841 (for interpreting services), which is likely to be published within the coming months.

Whatever happens, 2018 promises to keep language service providers very busy and we recommend an agile approach to adapt to and navigate ever-changing market conditions.



By Alex Edwards