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语言是门大生意

Language is Big Business

语言是门大生意

 

The language industry is big business, with the worldwide languageservices market growing at an annual rate of 5.52%. The Centre for NextGeneration Localisation reports that localization and translation is the 4thfastest-growing industry in the United States. And, Inc. Magazine lists thelanguage industry as one of the top industries for starting a business.

语言产业是一门大生意,全球语言服务市场的年增长率为5.52%。下一代本地化技术研究中心(CNGL)的报告显示,本地化和翻译是美国增速排名第四的行业。《Inc.》杂志将语言服务业列为创业首选行业之一。

 

The industry is diverse and technology-driven, with an increasing impacton both global and regional economies. Here are three key facts to consider:

语言产业是技术驱动型且多样化的,对全球和区域经济的影响力正在不断增长。以下有三个关键事实可供参考:

 

The size of the overall global language industry in 2016 is estimated at$40 Billion (USD), with estimates of up to $45 Billion by 2020.

2016 年全球语言产业的整体规模约为 400 亿美元(约合人民币2609亿元),到 2020 年估值高达 450 亿美元(约合人民币2935亿元)。

 

The projected growth rate is 6.5-7.5% annually through 2018.

2018 年,预计年增长率为6.5 - 7.5%。

 

The size of the language technology industry is estimated at €29 Billion.

语言技术产业规模估值为 290 亿欧元(约合人民币2259亿元)。

 

Language Service Providers and Employment Data

语言服务供应商和就业数据

 

Worldwide estimates for the number of language companies vary, but CommonSense Advisory, which provides highly regarded research data on the industry,maintains a database of 18,000 provider firms worldwide.

对于全世界究竟有多少家语言服务公司,估算结果不尽相同,但卡门森斯顾问公司的数据库囊括了全球18000家语言服务供应商,卡门森斯致力于为业界提供高质量的研究数据。

 

The EU Directorate-General Report on the Status of Translators indicatesthat in 2012, approximately 330,000 people were employed as translators orinterpreters worldwide. Seventy-eight percent of translators in Europe workedas freelancers.

欧盟一份关于译者现状的报告指出,2012 年,全世界约有 33 万人受雇为翻译或口译员。欧洲 78% 的翻译人员是自由职业者。

 

In the U.S. more than 3,000 firms employ over 55,000 professionals invarious aspects of language services. More than 50,000 people work astranslators and interpreters, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

在美国,超过 3000 家公司在语言服务的各行各业雇佣了超过 55000 名专业人员。根据美国劳工统计局的数据,超过 5 万人担任翻译和口译员。

 

Companies are going global. Translation factors in because every aspect oftheir services must be comprehensive, says Rick Antezana, a partner withDynamic Language, a language translation provider based in Seattle.

各大公司都在走向全球化。西雅图语言服务供应商Dynamic Language公司的合伙人Rick Antezana表示,各大公司都应该重视翻译因素,因为他们提供的各项服务必须能被客户理解。

 

The same is true of employees. "An organization like Starbucks has tosupport their employees and customers, so every aspect of what they do,including human resources, has to be translated," says Antezana.

对于员工来说也同样如此。Antezana 说:“像星巴克这样的公司必须为员工和客户提供支持,因此他们所做的每一个方面,包括人力资源,都必须得到翻译。”

 

The Sweet Spots

最佳选择

 

Phil Shawe, co-founder and CEO of TransPerfect, says the sweet spot forhis company has been e-commerce. Retailers overseas, for instance, may be giantsin their own neighborhoods, but when they expand out, they're virtually unknownand need to work hard to introduce themselves.

TransPerfect集团联合创始人兼CEO PhilShawe说,他们公司的最佳选择是电商。比如,海外零售商可能在自己的周边范围内堪称商业巨头,但当公司规模扩张到外地时,可能并不为当地人所知,这就需要公司奋力经营,打响品牌。

 

Breaking the Code

打破准则

 

You might think a translation service simply employs hundreds or thousandsof pajama-clad linguists who sit in front of their computers all daytranslating line by line, but those days are long gone. Translation serviceshave increasingly become technology companies.

你可能认为翻译服务就是雇佣成千上万个穿着睡衣的语言学家,他们整天坐在电脑前逐行翻译,但是那些日子已经一去不复返了。翻译服务供应商正逐渐发展成为技术公司。

 

Often, the biggest barrier to entry is the technology required of theindustry. "It's a huge differentiator," says Shawe, notingTransPerfect's Onelink technology, which allows companies to host a foreignlanguage site on another company's servers. "It requires a research anddevelopment budget, and time. It's taken us 10 years to get our software towhere it is."

通常进入这个行业最大的障碍就是行业所需的技术。“这是一个很关键的鉴别因素。” Shawe提到了TransPerfect集团的Onelink技术,它能够使公司在另外一个公司的服务器上托管一个外语站点。“这需要研发经费和时间。我们的软件为实现这个目标花了10年时间。”

 

Still, when an industry is projected to grow to $39 billion by 2018, astranslations services is, investors shouldn't be too difficult to convince."We're seeing a lot of new players enter the market and starting to getgood-sized funding rounds," says Jani Penttinen, the founder and CEO ofTransfluent, a tech platform that connects 50,000 translators and specializesin content management tools that help clients receive and send email in aforeign language or do the same thing on their blogs. "There's a lot ofnew activity in the U.S. for language translation, which is a greatthing."

2018年翻译服务业规模预计增长到390亿美元(约合人民币2545亿元),达到这一程度的行业容易受到投资者的青睐。技术平台Transfluent与50000名译员建立了业务联系,专攻帮助客户收发外语邮件的内容管理工具,或者通过博客开展类似业务。其创始人兼CEOJani Penttinen说:“我们看到很多新企业加入市场,开启了可观的各轮融资。在美国,语言翻译行业注入了大量新鲜血液,太赞了!”

 

The Fine Print

补充要点

 

Even the most forward thinking companies face competitive challenges.

即使思维最超前的企业也面临着竞争挑战。

 

Commoditization remains a big hurdle in the industry, as are clients whofail to appreciate the link between high prices and stellar results. Both maydrive prices down. To counter this, entrepreneurs must convince these clientsthat when they're dealing with sensitive products like medical devices, thethreat of legal action is real.

商品化依然是这个行业的一大阻碍,客户没有对高价与高品之间的联系加以重视,双方都可能压低价格。为解决这一问题,企业家必须让客户信服,表明他们在面对医疗器械等敏感产品时,承担法律责任的风险是切实存在的。

 

Translation companies are also seeing a trend toward consolidation, somethingAntezana has noticed. "It's happening now more than it has in thepast," he says. "For some organizations, that's their growthstrategy. They're not trying to grow by marketing."

合并也是翻译公司面临的一个趋势。Antezana指出:“如今合并之势比以往更加明显,对有些机构来说,这是他们的增长战略,他们不想通过营销实现增长。”

 

Then there are machine translation services, which are digging into somecompanies' market share. Dry content such as appliance manuals are more likelyto be cannibalized by machine translation, says Shawe, something "Googleand other places are getting better at."

还有机器翻译服务,正在渗入到部分企业的市场份额中。

 

With machine translation now more sophisticated than ever, customers arebeginning to demand services that were once hard to come by, such as videointerpreters who can help clients communicate with the deaf and off-siteinterpreters who assist with doctors' appointments. "It's about staying upon what the tech is and finding the best way to utilize it," saysAntezana.

如今机器翻译比以前要复杂得多,消费者开始对曾经难以获得的服务提出需求,如能帮助客户与聋哑人交流的视频传译、协助异地预约医生的口译员等。Antezana说:“这就需要我们持续跟进技术的发展状况,找到利用技术的最佳方式。”

 

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