And they’re all about multimedia

One of my main clients in the last decade, MCIS Language Solutions is a non-profit community interpretation and translation organization from Toronto, Canada that serves mostly government, legal, police services and healthcare organizations. It is not a video producer and is not involved with the film or TV industry. I have provided text translation services to them for many years, and almost always they revolve around government and social services – not what people would usually associate with the field of audiovisual translation. Still, as has been the trend for a long time now, they have been receiving more and more requests to do subtitling and voice over, among other types of AVT.

Back in 2014, I wrote this post about a translation agency that decided to learn more about AVT in order to apply the best practices to project management in this field. This client was MCIS.

Their latest newsletter, published late August 2020, highlights Five Trends in the Language Services Industry, and what called my attention was that every single one of them is related to multimedia materials, even if not always explicitly or entirely so.

They mention:

  1. Video Localization Services
  2. Emphasis on Regional Languages
  3. E-learning
  4. Machine Translation with Post-Editing, and Voice Recognition
  5. Transcreation

(I recommend reading their full post for more detail.)

Video localization and e-learning speak for themselves in terms of their use of audiovisual materials, and the others also rely strongly, and increasingly, in sounds and images combined with various forms of translation. And as I’ve mentioned above, none of them are the typical areas that most people associate with subtitling or dubbing, for instance.

All translation companies are experiencing these changes. For many agencies or individual translators, these trends reflect demands from their regular clients in practically any field. It is just that most of the content that requires translation is online, and online content is much more dynamic and media-based.

And there’s no question that the Covid-19 pandemic has already generated an explosion in video content, not only replacing in-person work or study settings, but also solidifying a clear decade-long trend to communicate and connect using video instead of text. Many of these changes are here to stay.