Even though many sectors are currently sailing in stormy weather, the seas of the localization sector seem to be as smooth as a mill pond. The increasing demand for localization and internationalization related services is natually also having an impact on the need for international translation services.
According to Develop, more and more content is nowadays being localized. On top of the increase in content also comes the increasing number of languages. Localizers have indicated that this is putting a severe strain on the quality of the translations they carry out. In short, they are finding it hard to carry out translations of a consistent quality while at the same time meeting more demands, output and pressure.
Large translation companies such as Localsoft, Testronic and Universally Speaking have stated that the interest in their services is growing fast. In the current economic climate, this is a great development of course, but this does mean the companies have to develop a more efficient or even completely different way of working. Vice-President of games operations at Testronic Lab Alistair Harsant: ‘The last few years has seen the need for more languages, less time in general to test and tighter budgets to work to. To achieve these client goals we need to constantly review our efficiency, technology and personnel.’
A lot of content is commonly translated in French, German, Italian and Spanish. In recent years, however, a number of new markets have emerged on the international field of business. These markets include Brazil, China and the Middle East: this is why more and more people ask for translations in for example including (Brazilian) Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese and Turkish.
New technologies also account for a rise in the demand. Anna Wojewodzka, who is the Operations Manager at Universally Speaking, says: ‘As more games are released on mobile platforms and often self-published, the quantity of text in games decreases, whilst the number of projects we handle is rising.’
Customers of localization agencies do not only ask for more translations in various new languages, they are looking for fast turnaround times as well. Thankfully for the localizers, not all of this weight has to be carried on their shoulders. Wojewodzka: ‘A need for around the clock service to deal with short translations requiring a quick turnaround. As this trend progresses, we become more agile and responsive to make sure that we do not cause delays in the development process, but integrate our processes instead.’
It’s exciting times for the localization sector. As more businesses look abroad for revenue and realise the need to speak the local lingo, the demand for localization services and translation services will grow. This is without question. The interesting questions are what form this will take? How will the sector standardise translations? How can they increase output? How can they reduce costs? We are sure many innovations are yet to come!