Translation and localization: An Emerging Industry

Translation and localization

In the words of Edward Sapir, “Language is the most massive and inclusive art we know, a mountainous and anonymous work of unconscious generations”. Translation is not just about the words; it is about making intelligible a whole culture of the country. The translators are the shadow heroes of literature who have enabled people to understand that every person from every part of the world lives in the same place.
India is one of the largest consumer markets in the world, growing at amazingly rapid pace. Today as the distance between the nations of the world is reducing, every organization is looking for translation and localization. The companies are doing everything they can to tackle the emerging Indian market. Without any doubt, localization is one of the fastest growing sectors in terms of an economy which is estimated to be around one billion US dollars in India. The industry thrives on ever-increasing demand for language content creation in the wide range of disciplines. Creation of digital content through translation and ensuring their availability across various platforms is of paramount importance for the global growth of organizations.

The Nation and its Linguistic Plurality
India is the seventh largest country by area and the second most populous nation. Besides the two official languages Hindi and English, there are twenty-two recognized regional languages. Adding dialects and minor languages, there are more than thousand languages spoken throughout the country, seems like a fairy tale of one thousand languages.
In recent times, technology is rapidly entering into the life of common man. According to independent report, more than eighty percent of content on the internet is in the English language, but only ten present of the total Indian population have knowledge of English Language. Therefore, it is very important to translate content, localize product into Indian Languages to ensure a wider reach and to arrest the sprawling ‘Digital Divide’

Significant Initiatives taken by the Government
With an aim to eliminate the digital divide, from time to time the government of India has taken various steps such as Digital India, Jan Dhan Yojna etc. Both the translation technology and language localization can play a vital role in achieving the Digital India dream. Distribution of contents in twenty plus Indian language will further lead to a massive demand for localization. In 2008, as per the recommendation of National Knowledge Commission (NKC), Government of India has launched National Translation Mission (NTM) with an objective to establish translation as an industry in India. NTM has been collaborating with various institutes, private publishers, and universities by providing financial and academic assistance. It is also collaborating to translate the study materials in Indian languages in order to reach out to the students who have limited English knowledge.

Localization: The Next Big Thing
Translation is one of the major parts of the localization process. Localization is the process of adapting a product to a specific market. It includes translation as well as an adaptation of the graphics, currencies, dates, addresses, phone number and many other factors and parameters.
The translation and localization industry in India involves publication, DTP, content creation, translation of documents, repurposing, IT localization, dubbing, subtitling and among many other.  Translation and localization are the most happening fields with more MNCs entering this market either as vendors or as clients.

Parametric View of Nation’s Market
India is considered to be one of the fastest growing technology markets; so many companies are adopting various methods to expand their presence. Tech giant Microsoft Corporation known for their operating system is one among the major player who localized their products in Indian languages. Currently, South Korean Mobile and PC maker company Samsung is investing a huge sum of money to localize their mobile phone user interface in some major Indian languages. Xiaomi Technology India Private Limited is localizing their popular products, especially mobile phone UI to ten Indian languages. In terms of revenue, the Indian translation Industry is nineteen present of the Asian Industry.

Technology Revolutionizing the Translation Industry
Besides traditional tools such as dictionaries, glossaries, thesaurus etc., the usage of Computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools is increasing rapidly in order to improve productivity. With the help of these language assets, translators use previously approved translations which reduce their repetitive work and enhance the consistency of translators. Some popular CAT tools are – SDL Trados, SDL Passalo, Fluency, OmegaT, Deja Vu, Wordfast etc. These tools are mostly used offline. With the growing user base of internet and internet-based services, online tools and platforms are gaining momentum and becoming popular among the translation companies. The Popularity of Machine Translation (MT) has also increased substantially. A significantly large content can be processed effectively by combining MT with a human post editor.
Over the next few years translation and localization industry is able to provide livelihood to many budding translators. Investment in e-governance like Gyandoot, Community Information Centers (CICs), e-Seva, BangaloreOne, e-Chaupa is truly phenomenal. Translation and Localization have always helped India to knit together as a nation throughout history. The concepts like ‘Indian philosophy’, ‘Indian culture’, ‘Indian literature’ and ‘Indian knowledge systems’ would have been impossible in the absence of translations.

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