The localisation and internationalisation business is growing at a rate of knots. The translation industry as a whole is growing at a rate of 6% a year, and localisation plays a significant part in that.
Recent research, carried out by the Common Sense Advisory, shows that 72% of people spend the vast majority of their time, if not all of it, on websites in their native language.
It’s a truth that makes an awful lot of sense, although it took a long time for many businesses to accept that internationalisation, also referred to as i18n, and localisation, or l10n, are well worth the investment.
As the world seemingly gets smaller and smaller, people’s awareness of the importance of reaching customers in their mother tongue continues to grow. These days it’s been proven that localisation can lead to hugely increased ROI.
Growth, inevitably, comes hand in hand with significant and continual change. Here are a few of the key trends we’ve spotted emerging in the industry.
Localisation Has Become a Non-negotiable
The most important change that has come about in the l10n and i18n industry is that there are now very few people working in the world of marketing who would argue that localisation is something you can take or leave if you want to tap into a new market.
56% of people admit that content in their native language and relevant to their native culture is more important to them than price.
That means that any company expanding into new markets, whether entirely different languages or a different dialect and cultural context, is running out, and running out fast, of excuses when it comes to investing in localisation.
The proof is in the figures. Research from 2016 showed that total company investment in translation and localisation boomed from $26 billion in 2010 to $38 billion in 2015, and it’s showing no sign of slowing down. In fact, 94% of companies plan to increase their spending in this area in 2018.
The Demand for Emerging Market Localization is On the Up
While the languages most translated from English are still European, including Spanish, Portuguese and German, and languages like Chinese and Russian are starting to snap at their heels, what’s especially interesting about the current market is the growth of demand for emerging markets.
Languages such as Swahili have exploded, and various languages spoken in India including Oriya and Malayalam are also experiencing unprecedented growth.
With continually growing numbers of smart-phone owners and internet users in countries that up till now haven’t enjoyed such broad access to such technologies, the demand for apps and websites in these languages will only continue to shoot upwards.
Mobile Content is King
Rather than an emerging trend, this is one that has been on the rise for a long time but shows no sign of tailing off and is set to become even more of a focus in the coming months and years.
E-commerce and localisation go hand in hand, and people are using their smart-phones to buy, so that means that localisation of apps and mobile web content is vital for companies to be able to close those sales.
Everything from content to customer service to payments needs to be localised in order to entice the maximum number of potential customers to click ‘pay now’.
Social Media and Video Localisation Ever More Important
You’d have to have been living under a rock for a very long time now not to have realised the importance of social media, but it’s only recently that companies have started contemplating in earnest the internalisation and localisation of their social media strategies.
While social media is the king of marketing these days, the use of videos is one of the most effective strategies on social media. The localisation of a video can, clearly, be far more complicated than that of text.
Simple subtitling and video localisation are very different things as the latter can require an entirely new video to be created.
The world of social media and video localisation will continue to grow by leaps and bounds in the foreseeable future. Get aboard!