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2013 Global Explosion of Smartphones Mobilizes Demand for Language Industry

Wednesday, 16 January, 2013

 An explosion in worldwide sales and usage of smartphones in 2013 points to a huge growth opportunity for the language services industry, according to its leading trade association.


Deloitte estimates smartphone sales will top one billion this year, moving the worldwide base of smartphone users to almost two billion. “As a result, global demand for translation and other localized content is growing exponentially as well,” said Hans Fenstermacher, CEO of the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA).


“The need for language-related services in the mobile channel is literally skyrocketing,” Fenstermacher said. The worldwide surge in mobile app development and mobile advertising are two of the most important factors fueling demand for language expertise. “Marketers can’t just rely on the technology itself. They also need to reach local audiences in languages they understand,” he added.


Gartner projected mobile advertising spending to reach US$7.5 billion in 2012, up a staggering 1300 percent from US$530.2 million in 2008. Gartner also predicts mobile app development projects to outnumber PC projects four to one by 2015.


“Mobile usage trends point to significant, if not unprecedented, growth opportunities for the language sector,” Fenstermacher said. “To be successful in a given country, smartphone applications, advertisements and other types of communication must look and sound like they’re coming from someone right next door, not from somewhere clear across the globe.”


Automated translations and software-based services are not sophisticated enough to supplant professionals who understand the nuances of language and how meaning is accurately replicated from one language to the next.


“Mobile telephony is all about giving you immediate and personalized access to the kinds of information you need and want. So is the translation and language services industry,” Fenstermacher said.


About GALA

The Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) is the worldwide voice for the language industry and a resource for the language business. The association supports its members and the language industry by creating communities, championing standards, sharing knowledge, and advancing technology. GALA is the world’s largest localization trade association with around 350 members. More information: www.gala-global.org.


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Catherine Shuler

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