1. Machine translation is more popular than ever
The traditional view of machine translation is that while it’s quick, you can’t rely on it for high-quality translations. But as AI technology improves and newer models emerge, the latest machine translation engines are stepping up to challenge this position.
Compared to where it was even just a few years ago, machine translation has improved by leaps and bounds in 2022. And this is reflected in its steadily-increasing adoption across industries — by 2023, the global machine translation market is expected to reach a valuation of $7.5 billion, up from $800 million in 2021.
But it’s not like companies are ditching their human translation partners in favor of machine translation entirely. On the contrary, translator employment is also projected to increase — by a rate of 20% between 2021 and 2031, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Pairing a human translation with an AI for machine translation post-editing (MTPE) is still the best way to enjoy the benefits of machine translation without sacrificing on quality. Many translation providers charge less for editing and revisions than they do for original translations, further enhancing your savings.
2. The role of AI expands
When it comes to AI and localization, machine translation is usually the first thing that comes to mind. And while it’s not wrong to associate AI with machine translation, 2022 has shown us that the role of AI in localization extends far beyond this one use case.
From lifelike text-to-speech generation to all sorts of workflow automations, AI is now firmly integrated into the modern localization process. AI makes it possible to automate all the tedious, repetitive tasks that used to bottleneck your team — not only importing and exporting files, but tracking localization statuses, sending updates across the team, and even complex processes like multi-language sentiment analysis.
A truly optimized localization workflow automates as much as possible, leaving you and your team free for the tasks that actually require your attention and expertise. Leading localization platforms reflect this in their expanding AI functionality — making workflow automation a massive 2022 localization trend.
3. Media localization takes center stage
The world still grappled with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic throughout 2022, complete with a global spike at the end of the year. Rather than risk a social night out, many people continued to pass the time indoors — reading, watching TV shows and movies, and gaming. In response, a major 2022 localization trend saw the continued need for experienced localization partners in entertainment media.
In the gaming world, mobile games reign supreme in terms of market share, accounting for fully half of all games purchased in 2022. Mobile game localization shows no signs of slowing down as an in-demand area for game publishers and localization providers alike.
Meanwhile, the comics and manga sector is seeing similar growth as formerly niche series are adapted into big-budget shows and more people turn to print media as a source of indoor entertainment. With a projected CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 10.5% from 2022 to 2030, comics and manga are a promising sector for localization professionals to consider.
Subtitle localization plays a major role in bringing a new film or TV show to international audiences. And it’s a specialized skill — writers need not only be fluent in both the target and source language, but able to smoothly recreate the nuances of each character’s speech in their translations. Experienced subtitlers were accordingly in high demand in 2022, a trend likely to continue in the coming years.
4. The localization “talent crunch”
As more businesses realize the benefits of localization, and as they scale their localization strategies to cover more ground, the demand for qualified localization writers has soared. Large-scale localization providers have gone from offering a handful of language solutions to 100 or more — and with that expansion came 2022’s localization “talent crunch”.
The sharp increase in localization demand combined with the higher levels of employee attrition and recruitment struggles of the “Great Resignation” came to a head in 2022. Clients and localization service providers (LSPs) struggled to secure top talent who could prioritize their projects and deliver within the desired time frames, but at pre-crunch prices. Many LSPs were quick to increase their rates in the race to retain favored talent.
With the increased demand on localizers came a higher risk of burnout after longer hours of intense work. But it’s not all bad news: if you were an experienced localizer working in high-demand language pairs, you likely had your choice of clients and jobs — not to mention the freedom to demand higher rates and more favorable work arrangements.
How to master localization in 2023
Centering your localization pipeline around a content platform that’s designed for localization is the best way to enjoy cutting-edge AI developments while keeping efficiency levels high.
Leverage the full power of AI-boosted localization with Gridly, a content management platform built from the ground up for localization. With the entire localization team collaborating in one easy-to-use space, you’ll benefit from customizable workflow automations, effortless integration with your other tools, and even advanced features like machine translation and automated text-to-speech generation.
Learn more about how Gridly makes localization better, faster, and smoother.