Tone Trends

Tone Trends and the Year Ahead

Last time our blog discussed global language industry trends. This installment of Tone News, is going to take it to the local level. We are exploring our own trends from 2018 and making some predictions for 2019.

Tone’s Top 12 Language Pairs

  1. English to Burmese
  2. English to Karen
  3. English to Spanish
  4. Spanish to English
  5. English to Arabic
  6. English to Nepali
  7. Arabic to English
  8. Bosnian to English
  9. English to Russian
  10. French to English
  11. Burmese to English
  12. English to Bosnian

Keeping Score

  • To the right are our top 12 language pairs.
  • We worked in roughly 50 different language
    pairs. This is steady compared to 2017
    when we worked in 53 different language pairs.
    • Help us reach our goal to translate
      nearly everything. Please send us new
      and unique language pairs!
  • English is the source or target
    language for almost all our translations.
    • In 2019 gives us the chance to spread
      our linguistic wings with some
      non-English pairs. Swahili to Somali
      anyone? How about some more Chinese
      to Portuguese or Russian to Spanish?

2019 tone trends graph

With these facts and figures in mind, we see a mix of Tone’s existence as a global LSP, as well as a localized LSP. Here are some more interesting facts based on our data:

  • Burmese surpassed Karen as the most requested language in a language pair. This is a direct reflection of the shift in refugee arrivals over the last several years with Burmese individuals coming more from Malaysia than from Thailand.
  • We saw a direct impact of the United States’ immigration policies. There was a decline in the number of Arabic to English and English to Arabic requests. In 2017, Arabic was in the top three language pairs with English to Arabic requests being 45 total. In 2018, English to Arabic dropped to the 5th most requested language pair with only 27 requests.
  • The combination of English to Spanish or Spanish to English combined makes Spanish one of the most in demand languages, second only to Burmese to/from English. This is good for growth prospects going forward as Spanish remains the most spoken language other than English throughout the United States and is one of the top five languages spoken globally.
  • About half of our business is directly with individuals who need Certified Translation, apostille, or other services. As a division of the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, many of our customers reflect populations served by our parent organization.  Though contrary to popular belief we are not just for immigrants and refugees. We are a service for the entire community, including U.S. citizens.
  • In our individual market we frequently assist international students and U.S. nationals who need documents for activities outside the United States. You can request your translation directly online and we’ll mail it to you!
  • The other half of our business is mostly with local governments, school districts and employers. The goals of those organizations for their translated documents are to support the same local populations that we assist directly. This results in seeing similar language pairs to those we see in individual document requests. The exception here is with Bosnian. Still a highly requested language for individuals, we no longer see this language requested often with our commercial customers.

More Services for You
To create understanding and opportunity we are always improving our business. Below are two services trends we saw in 2018 that we think you need to know about:

An "apostille" is a form of authentication issued to documents for use in countries that participate in the Hague Convention of 1961. What might necessitate an apostille? Generally, if you have an official document, such as a Birth Certificate, that is going to be used in a foreign country to obtain some benefit, you most likely will need this process. The simplified steps are:

  1. Your document is translated into the target language
  2. Your translation is directly notarized and provided with a Certificate of Accuracy.
  3. Your translation is notarized by the local County Clerk and given a County seal.
  4. Following the seal from the County Office, the document is sent to a state office, such as the Division of Licensing Services in Albany NY. Your document receives another seal.  
  5. Once this final seal is given the document is returned by mail and is ready to be used as intended. The entire process can take 2-3 weeks.

Apostille can be intimidating and confusing. We complete the entire translation and apostille process for you. In addition to the cost for translation, fees for Apostille begin at $50.00 for one document, and $25 dollars for every document after the first. Let us do all the work for you.

In the last year, we saw many projects come through our offices that were InDesign files. With our linguistic know-how combined with our knack for design, we can create translated flyers, layouts, and other documents that are translated replicas of the original document. We even provide fully packaged translated files.

Formatting documents in a different language can be a challenge for many publishers because of their unfamiliarity with the languages and fonts that comprise them. As some of you know the Adobe fonts are not the same as Microsoft fonts which can pose a challenge for some of the languages we work with. Thanks to our familiarity with nearly everything, we have the expertise to more easily format documents in other languages that are true to the original and look natural to the reader.

Our 2019 Predictions
So, what else do we see happening in 2019?

  • More voice over and subtitling requests
    • As employers see increasing demands for training they will need to communicate with their employees in the language they understand.
    • More online content, with high localization demand will also move this market
  • Continued increase in Spanish language requests
  • Even more language pairs than in 2018
  • Continued increase in requests for more widely spoken languages such as Portuguese or Chinese
  • More use of Machine Translation as a tool to increase translator efficiency
  • Greater requests for smaller jobs
    • The saying may be go big or go home, but it translation there seems to be a trend toward being direct. Shorter documents + more requests (actually) = more multilingual content
  • Greater discussion of ROI = Return on Investment
    • What were the goals for your translation?, Did you meet them?, Are you seeing better outcomes because of translated material?
    • Next time you ask us to translate your document, let’s have this conversation.

This is just a taste of what we think will happen in the coming year. By next year, we hope to share more about our 2019 trends, how they progressed and if any of our predictions were right. Regardless of what the future does hold, we’ll be here to translate nearly everything on both on a commercial and individual level. Whether it is a birth certificate, a diploma, medical forms or the employee handbook we speak the language. Here’s to the year ahead!


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