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Guest post: Where is Marketing Translation Heading in 2017

2016 was some year! It was a year when the breakneck speed of globalisation got a bloody nose, first from the Brexit vote in Britain and then the U.S. Presidential election shock result. In many parts of the world it felt that the trend towards greater communication and business expansion worldwide might slow down, even contract as communities in many countries signalled their discontent with being left behind. Could this affect the translation industry in 2017? It seems unlikely at this stage. 2016 saw a big spurt in the need for translators and there seems no signs of this slowing down in 2017. So what are the trends on the horizon, especially for marketing translation in 2017?

More demand for video translators

Marketing is using the power of video more than ever. As consumers demand ever increasing amounts of data access and are using their mobile devices to make choices over buying preferences, video marketing has an ability to sell products in a more lifelike way than still images or text. Video translators will be in hot demand. Video marketing, like all marketing must be tailored to the culture that it is targeted towards so video translators must be able to use localisation techniques as well as translation skills.

Translation need for the minor languages

This was something that was forecast for 2016 and it is a trend that is also expected to continue into this year. There will be an increased need to market to communities whose first language is not one of the majors: Spanish, French, Portuguese / Arabic, Russian, Chinese and Indonesian / Malay. Languages like Malayalam and Tamil in India, Swahili in Africa, Mongolian in East Asia, just to mention a few, will allow businesses to make their websites reach larger markets. Internet users still prefer t browse for products in their own native language.

Machine translation will get better but not replace human translators

It is inevitable that major players will put a lot of money into R & D in machine translation. Machine translation is getting better, but is a poor translation method if used for marketing without human intervention. In fact, 2017 will see an acknowledgement that quality counts when it comes to effective marketing. One of the main drawbacks of machine translation is that it is still incapable of taking into consideration the quirks and idioms of a particular community.

Marketing is all about knowing who you are trying to sell to and what makes them tick. Effective marketing messages are minimised if left to a marketing translation agency that does not know their target culture well enough. Machine translation tools may eventually be so good that human translators will be out of a job, but it won’t be happening in 2017!

Author Bio:
Alexander Zeller is a project manager and translator working with The Migration Translators in Australia, providing legal, medical, business, marketing, technical and website translation services in over 130 Languages. By blending the best of both offline and online translation services, we at The Migration Translators deliver experiences that surprise and delight – on budget, on time, on scope.

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