Latest Insights and Statistics on Translation Industry Trends in 2023
Overview of Language Statistics
Here are some fascinating statistics about our world languages for 2023:
- The English language is the most spoken language in the world when counting both native and non-native speakers, with over 1.4 billion total speakers. (Berlitz)
- The language with the most native speakers worldwide is Mandarin Chinese, with over 1.1 billion speakers. (Lingua)
- With more than 512 million native speakers, Spanish is the second most extensively used language globally. (Lingua)
- Hindi and Spanish were the third and fourth most widespread languages in 2022. (Statista)
- With over 315 million speakers, Arabic is the world's sixth most popular language. (Babble)
- The world's top five most-spoken languages are English, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Hindi, and Arabic. (Langoly)
- With over 258 million speakers, Russian is the seventh most widely spoken language in the world. (Rubric)
- German is the fourth-most lucrative language according to the CSA rankings, even though it is not one of the world's top 10 most spoken languages. (Rubric)
- Portuguese is considered the fastest-growing language after English. (Indeed)
These data demonstrate how crucial language instruction and translation services are in today's globalized society.
Statistics on the Global Translation Market
The translation industry plays a major role in helping business capture the interests of international audiences.
Here are some statistics on the global markets that you should consider while creating your goals for growing your business:
- According to CSA Research's study of 8,709 consumers worldwide in 29 countries, 76% of online buyers prefer to purchase products with information in their native tongue. (CSA Research)
- The same survey found that 40% of consumers will never buy from websites in other languages. (CSA Research)
- A Common Sense Advisory report states that 75% of consumers are more likely to purchase goods and services if the product information is in their native language. (Lokalise)
- The report also found that 60% of consumers rarely or never buy from English-only websites. (CSA Research)
- According to Alexika, 65% of buyers prefer to only make purchases in their mother tongue. (Alexika)
- You can reach 80% of the world's online consumers by translating your website into the following tongues: English, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, and Italian. (CSA Research)
- Your business experience is improved, and online shoppers' purse strings are loosened when your material is tailored to foreign consumers. (Alexika)
If you want your business to reach global audiences and achieve success in international trade, your website content and marketing materials must speak the consumers' language.
Speaking your consumers' language increases understanding, and also establishes credibility between your company and your target audience, assisting with your worldwide sales potential.
Key Insights into the Localization Industry
Here are some key insights into the localization industry:
- Businesses that invested in translation were 1.5 times more likely to observe an increase in revenue. (Redokun)
- Localized social media content creation increased organic performance by 2500%. (Redokun)
- Marketing professionals reported that content translation had increased their income by 84%. (Lokalise)
- According to a Common Sense Advisory report, 75% of consumers are more likely to purchase goods and services if the product information is in their native language. (Lokalise)
- If information is provided to consumers in their native languages, more than half of them will spend more. (HBR)
- 65% of buyers prefer to only make purchases in their mother tongue. (Alexika)
- 76% of online buyers prefer to purchase products with information in their native tongue, and 40% will never purchase from websites in other languages, according to a CSA Research survey. (CSA Research)
- Social media localization provides limitless opportunities for businesses. (The WordPoint)
- Brands using localization services are 1.5 times more likely to to be make more profit than those that don't. (HBR)
Translation Statistics 2023
Professional translation services are key in overcoming cultural and linguistic barriers and increasing performance. The global market statistics below show the translation industry trends:
- The market for language services worldwide is estimated to be worth USD 60.68 billion in 2022 and to grow at a CAGR of 5.94% to reach USD 96.21 billion by the end of 2032. (Fact Mr)
- The average translation budget for large-scale companies ranges from 0.25% to 2.5% of their annual turnover. (Fact Mr)
- The U.S. federal government spends around US$ 700-800 million annually on outsourced language services. (Fact Mr)
- The global machine translation market is expected to rise considerably between 2022 and 2028, with a value of $153.8 million USD in 2020. (My Language Connection)
- The market size of the global language services industry was estimated to reach almost 60 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. (Statista)
- The translation service market is projected to hit USD 47.21 billion at a CAGR of 2.60% by 2030. (Globe News Wire)
These translation industry statistics reveal a bright future for translation companies.
The Evolution of the Translation Industry: A Decade of Growth
The translation industry has experienced significant growth over the past decade. Here are some ways in which the language service providers industry has grown:
- Despite a challenging economic climate and political upheaval around the globe, the translation industry has grown every year for the past ten years. (Alpha Omega Transitions)
- The global language services industry saw more than a decade of year-on-year growth come to an end in 2020, with the market worth between $47.5 billion and $50.6 billion. (Tomedes)
- The global translation market reached $56.18 billion USD in 2021, an increase of more than $5 billion in just two years. (My Language Connection)
- Between 2017 and 2022, the market size for translation services in the US increased by 7.0% year on average, reaching USD 6.6 billion in 2022. (IBIS World)
Despite economic and political challenges, the translation industry has grown significantly over the past decade and is projected to continue growing in the coming years.
Statistics on Translators and Interpreters
Here are some statistics from around the world:
- There are approximately 640,000 translators worldwide. (My Language Connection)
- In 2022, over 52,000 interpreters and translators were employed in the United States. (Statista)
- In the US, women make up 61.6% of all employed translators. (Statista)
- Chinese, Spanish and Arabic are the most translated languages by translators. (Renaissance)
- As of Jul 12, 2023, the average hourly pay for a translator in the United States is $28.73 an hour. (Zip Recruiter)
A Positive Outlook for Language Service Providers
A consolidated growth provides a positive job outlook for language service providers over the long term:
- From 2019 to 2029, the number of interpreters and translators employed in the US is expected to increase by 20%. (Maverick Group)
- Between 2021 and 2031, the Bureau of Labour Statistics predicts a 20.2% increase in employment for interpreters and translators in the US. (Money US News)
- The global language services market is valued at USD 60.68 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 96.21 billion by the end of 2032, with a CAGR of 5.94%. (DZ Linkedin)
- The market size of the translation services industry in the United States was USD 6.6 billion in 2022. (Statista)
- German, Mandarin and Arabic are the highest paying languages for translators. (Indeed)
The ever-increasing demand for translation services worldwide, along with the current translation industry trends, have created countless opportunities for freelance translators and translation companies.
In conclusion, the 2023 translation trends anticipate a dramatic expansion in the translation industry during the next few years, which should reflect in the world economy.
Insights into the Translation Software Industry
The term "translation software" refers to a broad range of web-based or desktop programs used by translators, companies, and agencies to accomplish a number of goals in translation projects.
These devices are known as CAT (computer-assisted translation) tools. Make use of our custom filter, created to help you find the top translation tools of 2022 that match your criteria and tastes if you're looking for one.
Here are some interesting CAT tools statistics:
- 88% of full-time professional translators utilize at least one CAT program, according to a poll. (Webinar Care)
- 76% of them employed multiple CAT tools. (Go Proz)
- According to translators, utilizing translation software can increase their output by at least 30%. (Webinar Care)
- From 2020 to 2025, the market share for translation management software is anticipated to grow by USD 1.58 billion at a CAGR of 14.81%. (Redokun)
- Using the right software can help cut translation costs by 90% that stem from human errors, unnecessary email communication, and time spent on uploading content and searching databases. (Webinar Care)
- In 2020, there were 14,362 freelance translators working, with 58.2% of them being female. (Webinar Care)
Machine translation software is very popular among professional translators, most of which use multiple CAT products.
Because of the many benefits of a CAT tool, the market for translation management software is expected to expand dramatically.
Security Priorities of Software Buyers Mirrored in the Translation Industry
With the recent advancements in AI within the realm of translation, it's noteworthy to mention how software buyers behave when it comes to safety. While this data isn't directly related to the translation industry, it underscores the IT department's growing concerns on this topic.
- 42% of software buyers prioritize security above everything else. They value it more than even the intrinsic features and capabilities of a product, aiming to ensure that their data remains secure and in compliance with privacy regulations. After security, the factors they consider are ease of use, product features, cost, and seamless integration. (Gartner)
Facts and Figures about Automated Translation Systems
Machine translation (MT) is a game-changer when it comes to translation speed because it employs artificial intelligence to translate material swiftly, supporting human translation. The two most common machine translation systems are statistical machine translation (SMT) and the newer neural machine translation (NMT).
Here are some machine translation statistics related to the market and usage:
- According to translators, utilizing translation software can increase their output by at least 30%. (Globe News Wire)
- The necessity to use the technology in favor of a more efficient translation is driving up the demand for machine translation. (Mordor Intelligence)
- The expansion of the MT industry will be fueled by the growing need for multilingual communication and the need for translation devices. (Mordor Intelligence)
- Between 2017 and 2022, the market size for language service providers in the US increased by an average of 7.0% per year. (IBIS World)
The use of a translation software can considerably increase a translator's or translation company's productivity. This is especially important in a world where multilingual communication becomes more and more relevant.
Trends of the Global Machine Translation Market
Machine translations climbed, and the average revenue growth rate for the translation machine market also looks promising. Here are some figures about the machine translation market:
- The market for machine translation was estimated at USD 800 million in 2021 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of more than 30% from 2022 to 2030. (Gmin Sights)
- The market for machine translation providers was valued at USD 812.6 million in 2021 and is anticipated to increase at a CAGR of 19.9% to reach USD 4,069.5 million by 2030. (Globe News Wire)
- The MT market is poised to grow at a CAGR of 7.1% by 2027. (Mordor Intelligence)
- The global machine translation market size reached US$ 162.4 Million in 2021 and is expected to reach US$ 305.1 Million by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 11.08% during 2021-2027. (Pr News Wire)
In conclusion, the current CAGR points to the growth of the worldwide machine translation industry.
Translation Memory Statistics
The ability to store approved translations, allowing for reuse in subsequent translation projects, is a powerful time-saving feature that many translation software programs offer.
Here are some statistics related to TMs:
- A survey of translators in 2006 found that 82.5% of 874 translators confirmed using translation memory. (Translate fx)
- There are 24 languages currently supported by the DGT Translation Memory. (Joint Research Centre EC)
- The use of TM can reduce translation time and costs by up to 50%. (Wolfram Alpha)
- WorldServer now records the number of segment matches that each TM provides for each task. (Gateway Sdl)
- Translation memories can be bilingual or multilingual, depending on the specific TM software used. (Pair A Phrase)
- In order to create a TM, translation agencies and freelance translators need a CAT tool. (Pair A Phrase)
- Repetitive text will be stored in a TM, which can improve translation quality and consistency. (Pair A Phrase)
- The EAC Translation Memory is available in 23 languages and contains over 1.5 billion words. (Joint Research Centre EC)
Multiple languages are supported by the DGT and EAC Translation Memories, and WorldServer keeps track of how many segments matches each TM offers for each assignment.
Professional translators frequently use TMs in order to ensure consistency, quality, and the timely delivery of their translations.
What are the best Machine Translation APIs?
Four popular machine translation engines – Amazon Translate, DeepL, Google Translate, and Microsoft Translator – underwent an evaluation based on BLEU scores to gauge translation quality. The study also measured response time, which is important for real-time translation applications, offering valuable insights into engine performance. Here are the results:
- DeepL and Amazon Translate were the top performers. DeepL achieved the best results for most European Languages and Amazon Translate for the Asian ones; (Bureau Works)
- In general, the longer the sentence, the better the translation; (Bureau Works)
- The engines’ API provided low translation time, with the exception of DeepL, in which the median time to translate a single sentence was close to 1 second. (Bureau Works)
Advantages of Generative AI Over Traditional MT Engines
AI-driven tools like the Generative Language Engine (GLE) are among the recent translation trends and have already had a powerful and transformative impact in the translation services industry.
- According to Bureau Works, Generative AI revolutionizes the translation process, reducing post-editing time by 50%. (Bureau Works) (Merging Minds).
- Although its performance may vary depending on the prompt and language, ChatGPT has the potential to deliver translations of better quality than conventional MT engines, especially when handling idiomatic idioms and sophisticated language. (Bureau Works)
- With success rates ranging from 70% to 90% in languages other than Korean, ChatGPT excelled in all tested machine translation engines as a translator. Even with lesser ratings, ChatGPT still outperformed MT engines in the Korean language. (Bureau Works)
- The accuracy of ChatGPT's translations ranged from 30% to 70%. Given the complexity and caliber of evaluation prompts, more study is necessary to comprehend its potential and difficulties as an evaluator for translation engines. (Bureau Works)
Interactions and Content Preferred by Buyers in Their Native Language
Many buyers prefer certain content to be presented in their native language. According to the '2023 Global Software Buying Trends' survey conducted by Gartner:
- 40% of participants desire support services and training resources in their primary language. (Gartner)
- 36% want software user interfaces in their primary language. (Gartner)
- 32% seek vendor communications in their native language. (Gartner)
- 31% have a preference for websites and landing pages in their primary language. (Gartner)
Machine translations, TM technology and AI-driven tools are revolutionizing the way the translation world operates. As a result, translation trends – as well as localization trends – point to a higher integration between human and machine in the short term.
Given that consumers prefer products and information in their native language, current translation industry trends and labor statistics indicate an increase in opportunities for interpreters and translators both in the short and the long term.