Happy New Year to everyone in the translation & localization industry! Well done on another amazing year. Onto 2018!

What are some of your predictions for this upcoming year?

Well, we went to our local fortune teller to find out and this is what insider information our $25 bought us. We thought we had better share the news!

Do you disagree or agree with any predictions? Tweet us your thoughts over at @_accensus

1. Part of the industry’s wealth via supply chain transactions will pass over into some sort of cryptocurrency form as blockchain technology gains traction.

2. Translation & localization will see the industry’s first major cyber-crime in the form of a hack, theft of information, ransom or cyber-attack.

3. NMT will continue to impact the industry and change the automation side of language translation.

4. Voice-on-Command translation will be a buzz service and see demand grow along with the likes of Alexa, Amazon Echo, etc.

5. There will be huge investments in R&D around language, translation & big data by the likes of Google, Amazon, Facebook.

6. In SEO, agencies and LSPs will start to compete with government websites, ‘translation service’ pages on the likes of Fiverr, People per Hour, etc. and other non-industry players.

7. Translation functions will increasingly be brought in-house as opposed to outsourced, reducing demand for LSPs in some sectors.

8. 2018 will see the rise of the Asian agency – with capital to invest, IT-savvy staff and hunger to expand, these agencies will start to make a dent in European and US markets.

9. The skills gap in the industry will become evident as clients’ demands for specialist skills means language and industry knowledge is no longer enough.

10. Less translators will move into languages such as Spanish, German, French, etc due to the impact of computer assisted translation.

11. There will be a greater division of labour among translators – i.e. those with technical expertise vs. those doing manual translations.

12. African, Middle Eastern and S.E. Asian languages will be in greater demand.

13. Clients will work more with more than one LSP making it incumbent on business owners to forge strategic alliances.

14. Project Managers will start to morph into sales, admin and support roles as increased automation continues to impact the nature of their roles.

15. Sector Experts will become more important for LSPs as a way to attract new clients and also as a way to teach staff/colleagues the skills they need to know in order to service a sector or a specific client – i.e. in life sciences, fintech, health, etc – these will be the people that help drive diversification & specialisation.

16. Qualified translators will lose their privileged status as agencies start to place equal emphasis on people with language skills who know a topic inside out, i.e. gaming, automotive, etc. in order to produce better translations.

17. We will see some SME-sized agencies go bust due to global pressures, competition, economy, lack of planning and/or over-reaching investments.

18. Language and translation will become more politicized than ever before in its use by political powers who weaponize words and are interested in the obfuscation of information.

19. Investment in people will become important with staff training taking precedence in areas such as virtual working, management, creative thinking, sales, communication and problem solving.

20. Clients will expect LSPs and translation agencies to have full IT flexibility and be able to plug into any system they may use – LSPs must be fluent in both the language and practicalities of working across technical platforms.

21. Diversification & specialisation will show themselves to be key to survival in the industry – become niche, focused and specialist, adapt and thrive or struggle.

22. Support companies focused on helping and selling to LSPs will become more prevalent in the industry as a sign of continued growth – i.e. IT, CRM, web, marketing, training, etc.

23. Customer Experience (CX) will come to define winners and losers at mid- to top-level translation & localization companies.

24. Subtitling & voice translation will grow as demand for online entertainment increases globally through Over-the-top media services like Netflix & Amazon.

25. Local talent will become more important for LSPs looking to spread themselves across more territories in terms of sales.

26. Marketing messages from LSPs will shift from ‘benefits & features’ to ‘how we solve your problems’ as marketers acknowledge the audience has matured in terms of the messages it wants to see & hear.

Let’s see what happens! It’s going to be an interesting 2018, that’s for sure.