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Language Industry Will Outpace World Economy in 2013

Wednesday, 19 December, 2012

While the world’s economy is forecast to slow next year, the language industry will continue strong growth due to rising demand for professional translation and localization services, its leading trade organization maintains.


The IMF cut its projections for advanced nations’ economic growth to 1.3 percent in 2012 and 1.5 percent in 2013. But the global language industry will grow more than 12 percent this year and continue to do so in 2013, if recent annual growth patterns hold true, according to Common Sense Advisory, an independent market research firm.


Hans Fenstermacher, CEO of the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA), points, among other things, to what he calls “Triple A” growth opportunities for the $multi-billion language industry: Asian, African, and Arabic. IMF’s projected 2013 economic growth for developing Asia is 7.2 percent (more than 8 percent for China); for sub-Saharan Africa, 5.7 percent; and 3.6 percent in the Middle East and North Africa.


Meanwhile, internet adoption in Triple A markets is surging. In the past decade, internet usage has grown over 20 times faster in Africa and 17 times faster in the Middle East than in the U.S. “Many emerging markets are really taking off,” Fenstermacher explains. “And it’s driving the need for more language and translation services.”


Fenstermacher also cites four industry-specific trends fueling the strong growth of the language sector in 2013:

  1. Faster delivery due to improving technology
  2. Demand for real-time translation services
  3. Adequacy of machine translation for lesser-quality requirements
  4. Increasing interest from corporate investors

“Despite the advent of the most advanced automated translations in a generation, businesses increasingly need professional translation services to maintain their brands. To sell worldwide, businesses must look and sound as if they’re right next door,” said Fenstermacher.


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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