The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on our society, bringing about an entirely new way of working and living. From the medical field and governments, to shops, restaurants and schools, everyone has been affected by it.
People resorted to online shopping for all their basic needs, which meant that small businesses had to adapt and join the world of e-commerce. But one of the biggest changes across multiple industries was the introduction of remote work in order to stay afloat. The translation industry has not been immune to the changes brought about by the crisis.
Changes within the translation industry
Working remotely is nothing new for the translation and interpretation industry. Offering interpretation and translation services means working with native speakers of the target language who are also subject matter experts. This ensures that the translators working on a project have the language proficiency and expertise needed to cross the language barriers successfully.
But in order to work with native speakers, this usually means working with professionals from all over the world. As such, remote work has long been a popular solution for professionals within the translation industry. This made it easier for us to adapt to this new way of working.
During the crisis, machine translation also proved to be as equally important as human translation. With many companies struggling to navigate lockdowns and social restrictions, this helped cut costs and save time on translations for internal use or information purposes. This solution gave companies a way of moving forward during these difficult times.
However, like many industries, the workload also dropped. This was mostly due to activities slowing down, especially at the start of the pandemic while people were still finding their feet and adapting.
Yet despite this, the pandemic found people in more need of medical translation than ever before. Medical and pharmaceutical companies, as well as researchers from across the globe, called upon language service providers to translate the latest information surrounding the virus. This has in turn highlighted the importance of translation services in terms of medical advancement.
The future of translation within the medical industry
The speed at which progress was made within the medical industry during the pandemic was partly due to medical translation services. Without these services, it would have been far more challenging for medical professionals to move forward during this crisis. This could be the beginning of a close post-pandemic collaboration between LSPs and medical companies.
But this collaboration would not be without its challenges, even in a post-COVID world. Legal requirements when selling in new markets, especially in the European Union, are constantly changing. As such, LSPs must stay on the ball and pay close attention to any new regulations, procedures and standards. This will allow them to stay on top of any changes and deliver accurate translations that comply with the necessary rules of the local authorities.
For now, we know that this close partnership between LSPs and medical manufacturers will continue to develop. When selling medical products in one of the countries within the European Union, medical documents must be translated into all languages of the member states. As such, there is no doubt that professionals within the medical industry will continue to rely on translation services.
While the COVID-19 crisis has had a huge impact on every industry, it has also brought new opportunities to some sectors. It has shaped the way we work and encouraged companies across multiple industries to work together. For the translation industry, the crisis has highlighted the importance of the role that language plays in medical advancement throughout the world. As such, we can expect a boost in demand for language services in the new post-pandemic world.