Monday, June 14, 2010

Not lost in translation!

The language industry has survived the economic crisis better than other sectors, according to a survey conducted for the European Commission. The study, the first to analyse the size of the language industry EU-wide, covers translation, interpreting, localising and globalising, subtitling and dubbing, language technology tools, multilingual conference organisation and language teaching. The survey put EU-wide turnover at 8.4 billion euro in 2008. This is set to increase by at least 10 per cent annually, over the next few years, to between 16.5 billion euro and 20 billion euro by 2015. This is one of the highest growth rates in EU industry.

"The language industry has both an economic and a strategic importance. Economic, because of its size, its resistance to the present crisis and especially its future potential. Strategic, because it is essential to preserving people's identities and culture and to coping in a globalised world. This study shows a more accurate image of the language industry in the EU and is a way to put it into the limelight on the employment market," says Leonard Orban, commissioner for multilingualism. Increasing globalisation demands translation and interpreting into new languages, as well as new language-related services.

"The industry is different from what it was years ago. It has seen the rise of new fields such as subtitling, localisation and editing. So professionals working in the field need to acquire new competences. The European Commission supports the development of such competences, for instance by promoting the European master’s in translation," Commissioner Orban said. The analysis was apparently conducted on the basis of questionnaires sent to professional associations, national authorities, individuals, language-service providers and language-service departments. The study included an analysis of each EU member state.

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