SDL Survey Results for Corporate Translation Technology Survey 2017

SDL Survey Results for Corporate Translation Technology Survey 2017

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SDL published a new report contains the results of a survey about  Corporate Translation Technology Survey 2017 . The report starts with defining  the meaning of corporate included in this survey. By corporate, SDL means private- and public-sector organizations that are generating content to be translated. It therefore doesn’t include language service providers (translation agencies) or freelance translators.  As a result, this new survey reveals some answers to the question:

Given that cost is an ever-present issue for corporates, and that demand for translation continues to grow with no end in sight, just how are
corporates tackling their quest for quality in translation?

The survey covered the below regions with a total of 554 respondents from public and private sector corporates.

Quality Priority and Challenge:

The survey results confirm what we’ve learned before about quality and rising demand:

• Almost 9 out of 10 respondents agree that quality is much more important than cost.
• Maintaining quality also looms largest when they list their top challenges: now and in 5 years time.
• And the pressures of demand can clearly be seen in the other top challenges: shortened timelines and increased internal demand. These demand pressures are expected to be more of a challenge in 5 years.

The results shed light on the aforementioned challenges along with other challenges that face translation industry nowadays, such as:

  • Lack of qualified translators.
  • Educating stakeholders on the translation process.
  • Translation budgets not increasing in line with demand.
  • Increase in the number of language pairs to be translated.

The report tries to solve these challenges by asking  very important questions. The first question: “is outsourcing an answer?“. Then, it shows in numbers how respondents feel about and handle outsourcing and what are their different motives.

The second question: “is technology an answer?“. In this point, the survey results showed that  94% of respondents agree that they find translation technology vital to managing translation demand, and that two-thirds (66%) of respondents’ organizations use computer-assisted
translation (CAT). There are, however, significant regional differences in CAT use: it’s 73% for North America, 71% for Europe, and only 48% for APAC. 

CAT makes translators more productive, especially through the use of translation memory to speed up translation of content previously
encountered and simplify the re-use of quality work. How much of the content translated by your organization would you say is brand new vs previously translated? For the survey respondents, on average, it’s almost 50-50.

Speaking about technology and CAT tools, has led to an eventual question, is Machine Translation helpful or not?.  Indeed, 61% of respondents agree that machine translation is essential to coping with increasing translation demands. But only just over a quarter (28%) are using machine translation, with Europe (25%) lagging behind North America (35%) and APAC (31%).

Regarding the frequency of post-editing after using machine translation. Only 16% are occasionally, rarely or never post-editing, with 78% post-editing most or all of the time.

Then the report moves to terminology management tools and how they may help in the quality challenge. For corporates, maintaining quality in the face of increasing demand is not just about individual translation productivity, but at least as much about ensuring consistency across projects, translators, and the wider business. Terminology management tools help with consistency — but their value can only be fully realized if termbases can be efficiently shared.

The report ends with recommendations to solve some challenges such as outsourcing and machine translation.

To download the full report:

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