As the world becomes more connected and more global, there is an increasing need for translators to act as intermediaries among groups of people and their different languages, which has fuelled the translation industry in the US in particular.
A report by CareerBuilder, published in June this year, reports that over 12,000 jobs are planned to be added in the next 3 years alone in the translation sector; from languages as diverse as Arabic and Slovakian, up a massive 36% from previous years. This is largely due to expanding global markets which seek to include local businesses that function entirely in a single language in a single region. To reach the small groups from a national and global perspective, ad campaigns need to be targeted and relevant to the local population, which is where translators are expected to play a large part in conveying the appropriate message.
Immigration to the US, not only from Spanish-speaking Mexicans but from French Canadians and Europeans, is particularly influencing this shift; thousands of people every day live in America with little or no knowledge of the language, which means translators are often called upon by the state to act as intermediaries – at a cost to the tax payer, of course.
The study also showed how language learning will become even more essential in the technology and healthcare industries as nurses that work in state hospitals have to reach a specific level of English before they can even apply for a job. People in lesser positions, such as care home workers and cleaners, are not required to speak such a high level of English because of the generic nature of the work. Surprisingly, technology is also helping to bolster the translation industry in the US. Although our computers work from a single language of code, innovations and discoveries require teams from across the world to participate and interact, leaving a large open space for translators to fill on a regular basis.
Eight million jobs are expected to be created by the US economy in the next few years, and whilst a significant proportion of these will be in the manufacturing and education sectors, an ever-growing proportion will be filled with translators and bilingual positions across the board. The US has strong ties with Mexico, and Spanish is taught in the majority of US schools from an early grade alongside French; however, the perception that visitors should learn the language of the country they come to live in has proved unhelpful in producing a bilingual generation. Those wishing to move to the US, or any country in fact, would no doubt benefit from being keen to learn the language so that they can be a productive member of that society, but there will always be a need for human translators in the world because each nation is so distinct and proud of its linguistic heritage.