As we sail into 2024, leaving behind all the experiences, the ups and downs, the good and bad, it’s time to take a step back and ponder what directions we want to take moving ahead. This is certainly important for individuals and businesses alike.
Just as in the agile approach, conducting project post-mortem and lesson-learned sessions provides a starting point for making many short-term and long-term strategic goals. It is time you do the same on an annual basis starting today since 2024 is all gearing up – you, as an LSP (language service provider), should also put into action the resolutions we are about to recommend to you in this guide.
But before that, we are about to take a quick dive into the market statistics for the LSP industry.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Highlights: LSP Industry In Numbers
According to Mordor Intelligence, the LSP market is valued at US $72.22 billion in 2023, and experts predict it to reach US $98.11 billion with a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 6.32% in the period 2023-2028.
The Key Driving Factor Contributing to the Demand
As a result, the demand for video translations and localization services is increasing. Experts predict that post-editing of machine translations (PEMT) will be a significant trend in the translation services industry in the foreseeable future.
Besides, more and more businesses are trying to direct traffic globally to their websites in hopes of boosting product/service’ sales, leading to a rise in website localization services to make their websites available in multiple languages.
A Quick Summary of Past Trends
Looking at the numbers can only take you so far. Hence, to survive in the long run and explore the new horizons of success, you also need to understand the trends pushing those numbers.
Thus, here’s a quick overview of the dynamic evolution of the LSP industry over the past few years:
- 2020 – During this period, the translation and localization industry experienced significant development in integrating machine translation with human post-editing (MTPE) along with a boost in transcreation.
- 2021 – Technology took center stage with artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP), enhancing MTPE for enhanced AI-human collaboration.
- 2022 – Another year with technology playing the HERO, but the accuracy of MTPE and the quality of AI-human collaboration improved considerably. Besides, the demand for speech translation services gained traction with the advancement in speech recognition technology, and media localization emerged as the latest trend.
- 2023 – The MTPE services evolved further, facilitating a blend of human expertise, efficiency, and accuracy, while localization became essential for businesses to engage the global market, including B2B communications and social media.
Now that you have an idea about the expected market growth of the industry and the driving factors contributing to it, it’s time you bring your notepad and pen and start jotting down the New Year’s resolutions for your language service provider business and tap into the pool of opportunities surrounding you.
Resolution # 1 – Put Context-Specific Translation Memory to Good Use
The first resolution that should go into your bucket should be the intelligent utilization of context-specific translation memory (TM). If you are unsure of what it is and how it differs from machine translation and term translation, then here you go:
A glossary of searchable databases, focusing on specified terms, their translation, definition, and usage rules.
It relies solely on routine automation to process large amounts of text without human intervention. However, quality is not guaranteed, and post-editing by a human editor is required.
It can be defined as a database pairing content segments in a source language with their counterparts in a target language. It is built over time by a translator adding new text.
By integrating context-based translation memory, you can realize many benefits, some of these include:
- It speeds up the overall translation process by suggesting translations for similar segments in the same context, reducing time and resulting in faster turnaround.
- Another advantage is that using TM promotes consistency by enabling translators to reuse approved translations, benefiting LSPs in large, long-running projects where terminology and style consistency matter.
- Since it speeds up the work, you will also see cost-cutting, improving your standing in the industry among your competitors.
According to research, around 66% of translators reported using translation memory (TM) and computer-assisted translation (CAT) on most projects. On the flip side, 1 in 5 translators confessed to using machine translation even when the client didn't ask for it. CSA Research
Resolution # 2 – Harness the Power of Transcreation to Avoid Making Cultural Blunders
The worst mistake any LSP can make is to rely completely on conventional word-to-word translation that could resonate entirely differently from language culture to the target language culture.
If you fear becoming a victim of cultural blunder, harness the power of transcreation, i.e., a flexible process providing translators with creative freedom to adapt content according to your target audience’s culture.
Many people confuse transcreation with localization and translation. If you are in the same boat, then see the table below:
It is a process of converting the source text content literally to the target language while being as true to the original meaning as possible.
In this, translated content is revised to align with the target language’s culture.
It is the technique in which the original content is converted into the target language while maintaining the existing intent, tone, and style.
Resolution # 3 – Keep an EYE on AI Advancements to Leverage It to Its Full Potential
Two down, three to go! AI is the next in line to go into your resolution bucket. Are you wondering why? If you are not staying up-to-date with AI, its developments, and what wonders it can create for your LSP company, you are most likely to follow Nokia’s fate.
Remember! Some changes are inevitable, and technology is one of those changes. Thus, to survive in the evolving industry, you must adapt to these changes and start identifying areas you can improve by integrating generative AI into your processes.
But knowing when you should and shouldn’t use AI is the KEY here. For the unversed, here’s a list:
Use Generative AI…
Don’t Use Generative AI…
When you can feed it with content and references, it can create a new marketing campaign for you based on the references.
You shouldn’t use it when you can’t provide the context since it could make incorrect assertions.
You can create multilingual prompts with it with source input and output to use as a reference.
It can’t be used as a replacement for human translators or even machine translation since it is currently not mature enough.
Post-editing ad Content Review
You can use it to compare content across different languages to ensure it has the same meaning.
In highly specialized domains, it is unlikely to determine the context since it was created from an English corpus of publicly available content.
Resolution # 4 – Let the Human Touch Sprinkle the MAGIC Dust
Regardless of how well the technology has developed over the last few years, one thing you should keep in mind going into the new year is that it cannot completely replace humans.
We (humans) are social animals flooded with sentiments and emotions, and we reciprocate the same feelings while acting, writing, or working as voice actors. AI can’t reach that height, not now, at least.
Thus, invest in the human-AI collaboration rather than choosing one since, in both situations, you will lose the game.
According to the 7th installment of CSA Research's CEO Insights, technology, and humans will join forces, creating synergy and resulting in a high-quality, ethical, and thoughtful approach to AI that will lift us to greater heights. CSA Research
Resolution # 5 – Have Phase Gate in Place, Strengthening Your Quality Control and Assurance
So far, we have filled your list with a mix of technology, human factor, and translation techniques that you could leverage, but the last one will work as a catalyst, making everything work for you the way you anticipated.
No need to get restless since we already revealed it in the heading! Have a phase gate review for quality control purposes. It will help you ensure that all the language services you provide are of superior quality and align with the intent, context, and purpose of the source language content.
Besides, it will also help you recheck files for punctuation, grammatical, and spelling errors, saving you from embarrassing situations and clients’ wrath.
Yes, here comes an end to this interesting read that has empowered you to make decisions for next year, not on sheer instinct but solid facts. But you will see positive results only when you put these resolutions into action, as a scribbled list in a journal is not gonna take you anywhere.
Bonus Tip: Now that you know what path you should be taking, it’s time to set realistic goals and create a roadmap to achieve those.
Here’s a quick recap of the resolutions we made in this guide. Use context-based translation memory, harness the power of creation, leverage human-AI collaboration, and have a strong quality check on every project you do.