Translation Agencies During Coronavirus Outbreak
On March 11 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Since then many countries have gone on lockdown, with varying measures in place to flatten the curve and curtail the spread of the virus.
The fact is that the coronavirus outbreak has affected the way businesses and individuals work, with limited movement, travel restrictions, remote work setups, and many businesses closing down or operating only on the most basic level.
When it comes to translation agencies, what is the situation we’re encountering right now, especially when faced with a possibility of prolonged quarantine conditions?
Looking at it from a technical perspective, the translation industry is inherently more friendly to remote-work than many others. Therefore most translation agencies will not have to take complicated and expensive organizational steps to adapt to the situation.
Our main resource – our translators – are in most cases already used to working from home, which in this situation is beneficial for them, and us.
With most of the conferences and events canceled or postponed just at the beginning of the “peak” season, the interpreters have been affected first. A small number of events are moving into virtual spaces and using remote interpreters, so the question is: will this practice expand fast and wide enough to supplement the lost income for the interpreters?
DEMAND FOR TRANSLATIONS
At first glance, it seems that translation services are in high demand, with many companies using written communication to replace human contact, and also many of them having to issue policies, procedures and notices in all countries of operation.
Therefore, at the moment, the increased demand for online services of every kind, due to the imposed quarantines and travel bans, means that companies will be spending more money to get their content translated into various languages, but what will happen if most of the client operations stop or decrease, with several industries seriously affected (like travel, tourism, hospitality)?
Logically, medical translation and medical interpretation will continue to be the important factor in the academic, scientific and medical battle against the coronavirus. Various scientists, medical professionals and researchers around the world, who need to share data as accurately, quickly and efficiently as possible, will continue to need professional medical translation services to achieve that.