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The Supercycle: localization industry poised for tech-enabled growth

Dana Stoica, Lingo24’s Head of Vendor Management, shares her key takeaways from a jam-packed localization and translation itinerary at yesterday’s SlatorCon Remote.

Slator is the leading provider of news, analysis, and research for the global translation, localization, and language technology industry. SlatorCon, now pandemic-proof online as SlatorCon Remote, is the go to conference for professionals in the translation and localization industry.

According to Slator’s Co-Founder & Managing Director, Florian Faes, “we’re living in the time of the Supercycle”. By Slator’s definition, the Supercycle means that business is booming: the language industry market is poised for technology-enabled growth and is expected to top USD 30bn by 2024.

No other industry has seen Machine Learning and AI at the same rate as the localization industry.

No other industry has seen Machine Learning and AI at the same rate as the localization industry.

What are the drivers of this Supercycle?

Across the market, there has been, and continues to be, an exponential increase in demand for automated translation, localization and language data. This demand drives competition, as the Big Tech race in developing more advanced language technologies.

Now, there is keen interest in fully autonomous localization and an insatiable appetite for high-quality language data.

The second driver is the 5-8% compound annual growth rate in demand for expert-in-the-loop Machine Translation. And, as the quality of the translation gets better, the more in demand it becomes. The disruptions caused in 2020 by the global pandemic also fueled a massive technological boost, as the fight to stay connected sped up the rate of technological adoption.

Keeping the expert-in-the-loop

I’ve been working in localization for over 15 years with specialist translators across the globe. For much of this time I’ve been a Vendor Manager with Lingo24, an early adopter of Machine Translation, with more than half of our translations now being expert-in-the-loop PEMT.

Despite the localization tech boom, in my opinion, human translators aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon. 

Content creation is on the rise every year, this creates a high demand for human translators, and after all, MT helps speed humans up.

Content creation is on the rise every year, this creates a high demand for human translators, and after all, MT helps speed humans up.

As language technologies adapt in the Supercycle, and new trends emerge, such as content creation through AI, we see a new generation of translators comfortable working with Machine Translated texts. Some haven’t known otherwise in their careers.

What trends are we seeing in the market?

So far, in the age of the Supercycle, we’ve seen growth in expert-in-the-loop PEMT, language data annotation services, and transcreation and multilingual authoring.

What’s coming next in localization? The Supercycle serves as a foundation for fast-emerging opportunities, such as MT as a managed service, multilingual synthetic voice producer, and into-English dubbing services and tech. The next frontier of use cases opened might include expert pools for target-only PEMT and multilingual avatars.

With all this innovation, there’s never been a more exciting time to be in the localization industry.

Dana Stoica, Head of Vendor Management, Lingo24

Dana has been working in localization for over 15 years, and as Lingo24’s Head of Vendor Management she works with specialist translators across the globe. Always a linguist, with a degree in English and Spanish from the West University in Timisoara, she enjoys writing about languages, translation, customer service, and even does some fiction writing too, and has some short stories published.

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