Good news for translations, the market for outsourced language services is growing at an annual rate of more than 12%, and is currently worth over 31 billion dollars, according to Common Sense Advisory. Despite the growth in demand the prices are dropping.
According to the research made by Common Sense Advisory the average per-word price for translation into and from the 30 most commonly used languages on the web has fallen over 30% since 2010 and over 40% since 2008. However, the study also finds that some of the most popular individual language pairs, such as Spanish into English, have increased in price.
So what are the reasons for the decrease this research is stating?
- Some believe is globalisation. Competing with low cost language providers makes larger translation companies review their pricing.
- Some say that machine translation and crowd sourcing are the cause. Companies have no need for translators since they can simply use a bilingual employee to recheck a machine translation.
- Others say that it is because of the hard negotiation of more aggressive buyers. The recession has made companies and corporations be more careful with the money they spend.
The biggest concern is that competing with low cost providers or using machine translation will affect the quality of language services.
Another interesting fact is that the changes in pricing may be influenced by the fact that per word prices do not include services like editing or proofreading or by the fluctuation of exchange rates.
Yet, neither the language service market nor clients have actually stated that quality is gradually decreasing. Most believe that the situations in which machine translations are used are quite different from those in which professional translation companies are required.
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The 2012 Euro barometer Report “Europeans and their languages” was published last month and according to this, the future of multilingual Europe looks very bright considering the advancements made by Europeans in terms of knowledge of languages. Also, a huge majority of Europeans (98%) consider learning at least one foreign language important for the future of their children.
There are, of course, some downsides also, such as the fact that the proportion of respondents able to speak at least two languages has declined in at least five countries:
* Slovakia (-17 percentage points to 80%)
* The Czech Republic (-12 percentage points to 49%)
* Bulgaria (-11 percentage points to 48%)
* Poland (-7 percentage points to 50%)
* Hungary (-7 percentage points to 35%)
This dropping is mostly related to the school system of each country and its infrastructure, being unable to offer the best methods in teaching foreign languages.
Recently, a survey was passed to approximately 54,000 students, tested in two out of five most taught languages in the EU (English, French, German, Italian and
Spanish), which indicated that:
1. 42% are competent in their first foreign language.
2. 25% in their second.
3. Basic knowledge isn’t achieved by 14% for the first foreign language and 20%
for the second.
These issues can also reach other industries and markets in the future if there’s nothing done about it because linguistic diversity and investing in language and intercultural skills can be turned into a real asset for prosperity and a benefit for all.
Importance of multilingualism on business in the EU
* Because of this loss of interest in foreign languages, with Asia and Latin America acquiring solid language skills, Europe runs the risk of losing competitiveness.
* Language skills are crucial, if tomorrow’s workforce is to consider all of Europe their home base.
* Language strategies are endorsed at the highest management level in companies across Europe. This consists of investments in language training, of employment of native speakers and of ensuring good multilingual communication via the Internet.
* Multilingualism plays a huge part also for national export promotion organisations, such as trade councils.
* A European platform is required for a structured exchange of information and of best practices involving languages for business.
Diverse language skills allow for communication, for understanding and for finding new solutions. It is very important in our society that education and professional training takes account of these needs and offers everybody a broad range of skills.
We at DutchTrans understand the need for the success of your business and that’s why we only employ professional native linguists, together delivering the most accurate and professional translation on time.
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