• Alysa Salzberg

These quotes reveal 2019’s biggest translation issues

Slator.com has released its “Top Language Industry Quotes of 2019” list. The extensive compilation, drawn from numerous conferences and other sources throughout 2019, cover a number of topics related to translation, but three major topics seemed to come up again and again. These are the biggest issues in the translation market today.


The first is machine vs human translation. With machine translation and other technological advances making translation easy, accessible, and, usually, inexpensive or free for buyers, it seems like it will surely take the upper hand, right? Not so. While many speakers have praised or at least acknowledged the major presence and advantages of machine translation, the general consensus is that it can’t replace humans.


One reason for this is that technology isn’t infallible, and in fact, may often misunderstand, misinterpret, or be simply incapable of understanding certain words, phrases, and concepts. As speaker Chris Carey said during a March 2019 conference, “Making the subtleties of language and emotion of a spoken or sung performance carry across to whatever language […] those creative elements are not easily replicated by AI, just yet”.


Another consistent theme in the year’s biggest translation industry quotes is the importance of localization, which translation buyers are considering a priority. This is especially interesting since machine translation and AI, which are currently sought after as well (at least partially because they can help cut down on budget, another priority for buyers) can’t provide localization.


The third major concern for translation providers and buyers this year was translation, interpreting, and localization for the gaming world, which is becoming increasingly global due to streaming services.


Read on for the full list of 2019’s language industry quotes.



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