The Future of the Translation & Interpretation Industry Forecasted in Business Reports

What is the Future of the Translation & Interpretation Industry? - Business Report from the U.S.

June 20, 2016

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Business Report on the Translation & Interpretation Service Industry

Although Japan has seen some signs of economic recovery, the global economy is still far from booming levels. The environment surrounding the translation and interpretation service industry has been dramatically changing due to the advancement of machine translation and communication technologies. What does the future of the translation and interpretation service industry look like? We will analyze it based on U.S. business reports.

Steady Growth for the Next 10 Years Until 2022

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the translation and interpretation service industry is expected to grow by 46% between 2012 and 2022. The reasoning behind this prediction is presumed to be that language is an essential communication tool in the globalized society, and also that the translation and interpretation service industry, which deals with languages, is relatively insulated from the influence of the economic conditions.

The demand for translation services in languages such as French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian, which are frequently translated from English as the source language, should continue to rise. In addition, the demand for Arabic and other languages spoken in Middle Eastern countries, as well as Asian languages such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Hindi, is anticipated to remain high.

In the regional forecast, Asia and Africa - where new markets are being developed - are expected to have a growing demand for translation services.

How Will the Advancement of Machine Translation Affect the Industry?

More and more machine translation tools are available for free in the Internet, and the accuracy of their translations has improved. Some think that human translators and interpreters will become irrelevant if this trend of machine translation development continues. But there is no need to worry about it for now. Computers may be capable of translating single words and short sentences; however, the accuracy level of machine translations on business documents and technical areas is still insufficient, thus it will require content review by a person.

Nevertheless, the machine translation technology continues to improve. Even with the current technology, the translation process can be rendered more efficient through a wise usage of machine translations and translation aid software. The effective utilization of machine translation, such as appropriately employing the machine translation, the human translation, or a combination of both depending on the situation, will be an important factor in the future of the translation industry.

Technology Application & Efficiency Are the Key for the Future

Overseas expansion and global marketing taking advantage of the internet Internet will continue to grow. And with the development of media such as communication devices and SNS, the need for translation and interpretation services is expected to diversify and increase.
On the other hand, services using machine translation and companies offering translations and/or interpretation services will continue to increase, overall creating fierce competition within the industry.

Translation service customers will also have higher expectations: lower service fees and higher quality. It will be important to ensure both accuracy and speed in order to survive such competition. The key for success seems to lie in improving efficiency while maintaining accuracy by utilizing the latest technologies, including machine translation and translation aid software.


The translation and interpretation industry is expected to grow steadily, even under the world economic downturn, or with the machine translation technology advancement. However, business practices and the environment surrounding the industry are rapidly changing. The translation and interpretation industry needs to evolve and react flexibly, in order to avoid stagnation.

If the translation and interpretation process becomes more efficient by effectively utilizing the latest technologies, it will benefit service customers with lower cost and faster service. The industry's prospect is bright once we achieve such a win-win relationship.

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