Comparison of the Translation Industry between China and the United States from the 2023ALC Industry Report

The following content is translated from Chinese source by machine translation without post-editing.

The Association of American Language Companies (ALC) is an industry association based in the United States. The members of the association are mainly enterprises that provide translation, interpretation, localization, and language trade services. ALC basically holds annual meetings every year to speak out for industry rights, conduct roundtable discussions on topics such as industry development, business management, market, and technology, and also organize representatives from American translation companies to lobby Congress. In addition to inviting industry spokespersons, the annual meeting will also arrange well-known corporate management consultants or leadership training experts and other non industry spokespersons, and release the annual ALC industry report.

In this article, we present the content of the 2023ALC Industry Report (released in September 2023, with two-thirds of the surveyed companies being members of ALC and over 70% headquartered in the United States), combined with TalkingChina Translate’s personal experience in the industry, to make a simple comparison of the business status of the translation industry in China and the United States. We also hope to use the stones of other countries to carve out our own jade.

一、The ALC report provides industry key data statistics from 14 aspects for us to refer to and compare one by one:

1. Business model

Similarities between China and the United States:

1) Service content: 60% of the core services of American peers focus on translation, 30% on interpretation, and the remaining 10% are scattered among various translation service products; More than half of the companies provide media localization services, including transcription, dubbing, subtitles, and dubbing.

2) Buyer: Although more than two-thirds of American peers serve law firms, only 15% of companies use them as their primary source of income. This indicates that the language service expenditures of law firms are highly dispersed, which is generally consistent with the temporary nature of legal translation needs and the lower than average maturity of translation procurement in the industry. In addition, more than half of our American counterparts provide language services to creative, marketing, and digital institutions. These institutions serve as intermediaries between language service companies and end buyers from various industries. In recent years, the role and boundaries of language services have become blurred: some creative institutions provide language services, while others expand into the field of content creation. Meanwhile, 95% of American peers provide language services to other peer companies, and procurement within this industry is driven by collaborative relationships.

The above characteristics are similar to the situation in China. For example, in recent business operations, TalkingChina Translation encountered a case where a major client who had served for many years, due to considerations of content production consistency and cost, re tendered and centralized procurement of all filming, design, animation, translation, and other content related businesses. The procurement participants were mainly advertising companies, and the winning bidder became the general contractor for content creativity. The translation work was also carried out by this general contractor, Or complete or subcontract by oneself. In this way, as the original translation service provider, TalkingChina can only strive to continue cooperating with this general contractor as much as possible, and it is very difficult to completely cross the line and become a content creative general contractor.

In terms of peer collaboration, the specific proportion in China is unknown, but it is certain that it has become an increasingly common trend in recent years, aimed at meeting customer needs, strengthening capabilities in vertical fields and other languages, establishing more flexible supply chains, or expanding or digesting production capacity, with complementary advantages. The private enjoyment association is also actively making some beneficial plans and attempts in this regard.

Differences between China and the United States:

1) International expansion: Most of our US counterparts generate their main revenue from domestic customers, but one in every three companies has offices in two or more countries, although there is no positive proportional relationship between revenue and the number of international branches. It seems that the proportion of international expansion among American peers is much higher than ours, which is related to their advantages in geographical location, language, and cultural similarity. They enter new markets through international expansion, obtain technological resources, or establish low-cost production centers.

Compared to this, the international expansion rate of Chinese translation peers is much lower, with only a few companies successfully going global. From the few successful cases, it can be seen that it is basically the business managers themselves who need to go out first. It is best to focus on overseas target markets, have local operation teams in the local area, and fully integrate the corporate culture, especially sales and marketing, into the local market to do a good job of localization. Of course, companies are not going abroad for the sake of going global, but rather need to first think about why they want to go global and what their purpose is? Why can we go out to sea? What is the ultimate skill? Then comes the question of how to go out to sea.

Similarly, domestic translation companies are also very conservative in participating in peer international conferences. TalkingChina’s participation in international conferences such as GALA/ALC/LocWorld/ELIA is already quite frequent, and he rarely sees the presence of domestic peers. How to enhance the overall voice and influence of China’s language service industry in the international community, and unite for warmth, has always been a problem. On the contrary, we often see Argentine translation companies coming from afar at international conferences. They not only participate in the conference but also appear as a collective image of a common South American Spanish language provider. They play some public relations games at the conference, liven up the atmosphere, and create a collective brand, which is worth learning from.

2) Buyer: The top three customer groups in terms of revenue in the United States are healthcare, government/public sector, and educational institutions, while in China, they are information and communication technology, cross-border e-commerce, and education and training (according to the 2023 Development Report of the Chinese Translation and Language Services Industry released by the China Translators Association). 

Healthcare providers (including hospitals, insurance companies, and clinics) are the core source of income for over 50% of their American counterparts, which has a clear American characteristic. On a global scale, the United States has the highest healthcare expenditure. Due to the implementation of a mixed system of private and public funding in the United States, language service expenditures in healthcare come from both private hospitals, healthcare insurance companies, and clinics, as well as government programs. Language service companies play a core role in helping healthcare providers design and execute language use plans. According to legal regulations, language use plans are mandatory to ensure that patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) have equal access to high-quality medical services.

The advantages of the above natural market demand cannot be compared or matched domestically. But the Chinese market also has its own characteristics. In recent years, the government led Belt and Road Initiative and the wave of Chinese local enterprises going abroad have given rise to more translation needs from Chinese or English to minority languages. Of course, if you want to participate in it and become a qualified player, it also puts higher requirements on our translation service enterprises for resources and project management capabilities.

3) Service content: Nearly half of our American counterparts provide sign language services; 20% of companies provide language testing (involving language proficiency assessment); 15% of companies provide language training (mostly online).

There is no corresponding data found domestically for the above content, but from a sensory perspective, the proportion in the United States should be higher than in China. The winning bidder for domestic sign language bidding projects is often a special school or even a network technology company, and rarely a translation company. There are also a few translation companies that prioritize language testing and training as their main business areas.

2. Corporate strategy

Most American peers prioritize “increasing revenue” as their top priority for 2023, while one-third of companies choose to reduce operating costs.

In terms of service strategy, more than half of the companies have increased their services in the past three years, but there are fewer companies planning to increase their services in the next three years. The services that have increased the most are e-learning, on-site subtitle services, machine translation post editing (PEMT), remote simultaneous interpretation (RSI), dubbing, and video remote interpretation (VRI). Service expansion is mainly driven by customer demand. In this regard, it is similar to the situation in China. Most Chinese language service companies have responded to the increasing market demand in recent years, and growth and cost reduction are also eternal themes.

Meanwhile, in the past two years, many domestic peers have been discussing service upgrades, whether it is expanding the scope of services or extending vertically. For example, translation companies that specialize in patent translation are expanding their focus to other areas of patent services; Doing automotive translation and collecting intelligence on the automotive industry; Translate marketing documents to help clients publish and maintain overseas marketing media; I also provide printing level typesetting and subsequent printing services for translating documents to be printed; Those who work as conference interpreters are responsible for executing conference affairs or on-site construction; While doing website translation, do SEO and SEM execution, and so on. Of course, every transformation requires exploration and is not easy, and there will be some pitfalls in the process of trying. However, as long as it is a strategic adjustment made after rational decision-making, it is very necessary to make some perseverance in the tortuous process. In the past three to five years, TalkingChina Translation has gradually laid out vertical fields and language expansion products (such as pharmaceuticals, patents, online games and other pan entertainment, English and foreign internationalization, etc.). At the same time, it has also made vertical extensions in its expertise in market communication translation products. While doing well in translating service brands, it has also entered the writing of higher value-added copy (such as selling points, guide titles, product copy, product details, oral copy, etc.), achieving good results.

In terms of competitive landscape, most American peers consider large, global, and multilingual companies as their main competitors, such as LanguageLine, Lionbridge, RWS, TransPerfect, etc; In China, due to the differences in customer base between international localization companies and local translation companies, there is relatively less direct competition. More peer competition comes from price competition between translation companies, with low price and large-scale companies being the main competitors, especially in bidding projects.

There has always been a significant difference between China and the United States in terms of mergers and acquisitions. The merger and acquisition activities of American peers remain stable, with buyers continuously looking for opportunities and potential sellers actively seeking or waiting for opportunities to sell or maintaining contact with merger and acquisition brokers. In China, due to financial regulatory issues, valuation is difficult to calculate reasonably; At the same time, due to the boss being the biggest salesperson, there may be risks of transferring customer resources before and after the merger and acquisition if the company changes hands. Mergers and acquisitions are not the norm.

3. Service content

Machine translation (MT) has been widely adopted by peers in the United States. However, the application of MT within a company is often selective and strategic, and various factors can affect its potential risks and benefits. Nearly two-thirds of American peers offer machine translation post editing (PEMT) as a service to their clients, but TEP remains the most commonly used translation service. When making choices among the three production modes of pure manual, pure machine, and machine translation and editing, customer demand is the most critical factor affecting decision-making, and its importance exceeds the other two main factors (content type and language pairing).

In terms of interpretation, the US market has undergone significant changes. About three-quarters of American interpretation service providers provide video remote interpretation (VRI) and telephone interpretation (OPI), and about two-thirds of companies provide remote simultaneous interpretation (RSI). The three main areas of interpretation service providers are healthcare interpretation, business interpretation, and legal interpretation. RSI seems to remain a high growth niche market in the United States. Although RSI platforms are mainly technology companies, most platforms now provide convenience for obtaining interpretation services through crowdsourcing and/or cooperation with language service companies. The direct integration of RSI platforms with online conference tools such as Zoom and other client platforms also puts these companies in a favorable strategic position in managing corporate interpreting needs. Of course, the RSI platform is also seen by most American peers as a direct competitor. Although RSI has many benefits in terms of flexibility and cost, it also brings implementation challenges, including latency, audio quality, data security challenges, and so on.

The above contents have similarities and differences in China, such as RSI. TalkingChina Translation established a strategic cooperation with a platform company before the epidemic. During the epidemic, this platform had a lot of business on its own, but after the epidemic, more and more meetings resumed using offline forms. Therefore, from the perspective of TalkingChina Translation as an interpretation provider, it feels that the demand for on-site interpretation has increased significantly, and RSI has declined to a certain extent, But RSI is indeed a very necessary supplement and a necessary capability for domestic interpretation service providers. At the same time, the use of OPI in telephone interpretation is already much lower in the Chinese market than in the United States, as the main usage scenarios in the United States are medical and legal, which is missing in China.

In terms of machine translation, machine translation post editing (PEMT) is a chicken rib product in the service content of domestic translation companies. Customers rarely choose it, and what they want more is to obtain the same quality and faster speed of human translation at a price close to machine translation. Therefore, the use of machine translation is even more invisible in the production process of translation companies, regardless of whether it is used or not, We need to provide customers with qualified quality and low prices (fast, good, and cheap). Of course, there are also customers who directly provide machine translation results and request translation companies to proofread on this basis. TalkingChina Translation’s perception is that the quality of the machine translation provided by the customer is far from the customer’s expectations, and manual proofreading requires deep intervention, often beyond the scope of PEMT. However, the price offered by the customer is far lower than that of manual translation.

4. Growth and profitability

Despite macroeconomic and global political uncertainties, the growth of US peers in 2022 remained resilient, with 60% of companies experiencing revenue growth and 25% experiencing growth rates exceeding 25%. This resilience is related to several key factors: the revenue of language service companies comes from different fields, which makes the overall impact of demand fluctuations on the company relatively small; Technologies such as voice to text, machine translation, and remote interpretation platforms make it easier for businesses to implement language solutions in a wider range of environments, and the use cases of language services continue to expand; At the same time, the healthcare industry and government departments in the United States continue to increase related expenditures; In addition, the population with limited English proficiency (LEP) in the United States is constantly increasing, and the enforcement of language barrier legislation is also increasing.

In 2022, American peers are generally profitable, with an average gross profit margin between 29% and 43%, with language training having the highest profit margin (43%). However, compared to the previous year, the profit margins of translation and interpretation services have slightly decreased. Although most companies have increased their quotes to customers, the increase in operating costs (especially labor costs) remains a key factor affecting the profitability of these two services.

In China, overall, the revenue of translation companies is also on the rise in 2022. From the perspective of gross profit margin, it can be said that it is also similar to its American counterparts. However, the difference is that in terms of quotation, especially for large projects, the quotation is downward. Therefore, the key factor affecting profitability is not the increase in labor costs, but the price decline caused by price competition. Therefore, in the situation where labor costs cannot be correspondingly reduced, actively using technologies such as artificial intelligence to reduce costs and increase efficiency is still an inevitable choice.

5. Pricing

In the US market, the word rate for translation, editing, and proofreading (TEP) has generally increased by 2% to 9%. The ALC report covers English translation prices for 11 languages: Arabic, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. The median price in the English translation is 0.23 US dollars per word, with a price range between the lowest value of 0.10 and the highest value of 0.31; The median price in the simplified Chinese English translation is 0.24, with a price range between 0.20 and 0.31.

American peers generally state that “customers hope that artificial intelligence and MT tools can reduce costs, but cannot abandon the quality standard of 100% manual operation.”. PEMT rates are generally 20% to 35% lower than pure manual translation services. Although the word by word pricing model still dominates the language industry, the widespread use of PEMT has become a driving force for some companies to introduce other pricing models.

In terms of interpretation, the service rate in 2022 has increased compared to the previous year. The largest increase was in on-site conference interpretation, with OPI, VRI, and RSI service rates all increasing by 7% to 9%.

Compared to this, domestic translation companies in China are not so lucky. Under the pressure of the economic environment, technological shocks such as artificial intelligence, cost control by Party A, and price competition within the industry, the prices of oral and written translations have not increased but decreased, especially in translation prices.

6. Technology

1) TMS/CAT tool: MemoQ is leading, with over 50% of American peers using this platform, followed by RWSTrados. Boostlingo is the most commonly used interpretation platform, with nearly 30% of companies reporting using it to arrange, manage, or provide interpretation services. About one-third of language testing companies use Zoom to provide testing services. In the selection of machine translation tools, Amazon AWS is the most commonly chosen, followed by Alibaba and DeepL, and then Google.

The situation in China is similar, with a variety of choices for machine translation tools, as well as products from major companies such as Baidu and Youdao, as well as machine translation engines that excel in specific fields. Among domestic peers, except for the common use of machine translation by localization companies, most companies still rely on traditional translation methods. However, some translation companies with strong technological capabilities or focusing on a specific field have also begun to use machine translation technology. They usually use machine translation engines that are either purchased or rented from third parties but trained using their own corpus.

2) Large Language Model (LLM): It has excellent machine translation capabilities, but also has its advantages and disadvantages. In the United States, language service companies still play a core role in providing language services to businesses on a large scale. Their responsibilities include meeting complex buyer needs through a range of technology driven language services, and building a bridge between the services that artificial intelligence can provide and the language services that client companies need to implement. However, so far, the application of artificial intelligence in internal workflows is far from widespread. About two-thirds of American peers have not used artificial intelligence to enable or automate any workflow. The most commonly used way to use artificial intelligence as a driving factor in workflow is through AI assisted vocabulary creation. Only 10% of companies use artificial intelligence for source text analysis; About 10% of companies use artificial intelligence to automatically evaluate translation quality; Less than 5% of companies use artificial intelligence to schedule or assist interpreters in their work. However, most American peers are further understanding LLM, and one-third of companies are testing test cases.

In this regard, at the beginning, most domestic peers were unable to fully integrate large-scale language model products from overseas, such as ChatGPT, into the project process due to various limitations. Therefore, they can only use these products as intelligent question and answer tools. However, over time, these products have not only been used as machine translation engines, but have also been successfully integrated into other functions such as polishing and translation evaluation. The various functions of these LLMs can be mobilized to provide more comprehensive services for projects. It is worth mentioning that, driven by foreign products, domestically developed LLM products have also emerged. However, based on current feedback, there is still a significant gap between domestic LLM products and foreign ones, but we believe that there will be more technological breakthroughs and innovations in the future to narrow this gap.

3) MT, automatic transcription, and AI subtitles are the most common AI services. The situation in China is similar, with significant development in technologies such as speech recognition and automatic transcription in recent years, resulting in significant cost reduction and efficiency improvement. Of course, with the widespread application of these technologies and the increasing demand, customers are constantly seeking better cost-effectiveness within limited budgets, and technology providers are therefore striving to develop better solutions.

4) In terms of integration of translation services, TMS can integrate with various platforms such as customer CMS (content management system) and cloud file library; In terms of interpretation services, remote interpretation tools can be integrated with customer remote healthcare delivery platforms and online conference platforms. The cost of establishing and implementing integration may be high, but integration can directly embed language service company solutions into the customer’s technology ecosystem, making it strategically significant. More than half of American peers believe that integration is crucial for maintaining competitiveness, with approximately 60% of companies receiving partial translation volume through automated workflows. In terms of technology strategy, most companies adopt a purchasing approach, with 35% of companies adopting a hybrid approach of “buying and building”.

In China, large translation or localization companies usually develop integrated platforms for internal use, and some may even commercialize them. In addition, some third-party technology providers have also launched their own integrated products, integrating CAT, MT, and LLM. By reengineering the process and combining artificial intelligence with human translation, we aim to create a more intelligent workflow. This also puts forward new requirements for the ability structure and training direction of language talents. In the future, the translation industry will see more scenarios of human-machine coupling, which reflects the industry’s demand for more intelligent and efficient development. Translators need to learn how to flexibly use artificial intelligence and automation tools to improve overall translation efficiency and quality.

TalkingChina Translation has also actively attempted to apply the integrated platform to its own production process in this regard. At present, we are still in the exploratory stage, which poses a challenge to project managers and translators in terms of work habits. They need to spend a lot of energy adapting to the new working methods. At the same time, the effectiveness of use also needs further observation and evaluation. However, we believe that this positive exploration is necessary.

7. Resource Supply Chain and Personnel

Nearly 80% of American peers report facing talent shortages. Sales, interpreters, and project managers rank among the top in positions with high demand but scarce supply. Salaries remain relatively stable, but sales positions have increased by 20% compared to the previous year, while administrative positions have decreased by 8%. Service orientation and customer service, as well as artificial intelligence and big data, are considered the most important skills for employees in the next three years. Project manager is the most commonly hired position, and most companies hire a project manager. Less than 20% of companies hire technical/software developers.

The situation in China is similar. In terms of full-time personnel, it is difficult for the translation industry to retain excellent sales talents, especially those who understand production, market, and customer service. Even if we take a step back and say that our company’s business relies solely on serving old customers, they are not a one-time solution. To provide good service, we also need to be able to withstand competition at a reasonable price, At the same time, there are also high requirements for the service orientation ability of customer service personnel (who can deeply understand translation needs and develop and implement corresponding language service plans) and the project control ability of project management personnel (who can grasp resources and processes, control costs and quality, and flexibly use various technologies, including new artificial intelligence tools).

In terms of resource supply chain, in the practical operation of TalkingChina’s translation business, it will be found that there have been more and more new demands in China in the past two years, such as the need for local translation resources in foreign countries for Chinese enterprises to go global; Resources in various minority languages that are compatible with the company’s overseas expansion; Specialized talents in vertical fields (whether in medicine, gaming, patents, etc., the corresponding translator resources are relatively independent, and without corresponding background and experience, they are basically unable to enter); There is an overall shortage of interpreters, but they need to be more flexible in terms of service time (such as charging by the hour or even shorter, rather than the traditional half day starting price). So the translator resources department of translation companies is becoming increasingly indispensable, serving as the closest support team for the business department and requiring a resource procurement team that matches the company’s business volume. Of course, the procurement of resources not only includes freelance translators, but also peer collaborative units, as mentioned earlier.

8. Sales and Marketing

Hubspot and LinkedIn are the main sales and marketing tools of their American counterparts. In 2022, companies will allocate an average of 7% of their annual revenue to marketing.

Compared to this, there are no particularly useful sales tools in China, and LinkedIn cannot be used normally in China. The sales methods are either crazy bidding or managers doing sales themselves, and there are few large-scale sales teams formed. The customer conversion cycle is too long, and the understanding and management of the “sales” position ability is still in a relatively basic state, which is also the reason for the slow effectiveness of recruiting a sales team.

In terms of marketing, almost every colleague is also operating their own WeChat public account, and TalkingChinayi also has their own WeChat video account. At the same time, Bilibili, Xiaohongshu, Zhihu, etc. also have some maintenance, and this type of marketing is mainly brand oriented; The keywords SEM and SEO of Baidu or Google tend to be directly converted, but in recent years, the cost of inquiry conversion has been increasing. In addition to the increasing bidding of search engines, the cost of marketing personnel specializing in advertising has also increased. Moreover, the quality of inquiries brought by advertising is uneven, and it cannot be targeted according to the customer target group of the enterprise, which is not efficient. Therefore, in recent years, many domestic peers have abandoned search engine advertising and used sales personnel more to conduct targeted sales.

Compared to the industry in the United States that spends 7% of its annual revenue on marketing, domestic translation companies invest less in this area. The main reason for investing less is not realizing its importance or not knowing how to do it effectively. It is not easy to do content marketing for B2B translation services, and the challenge of marketing implementation is what content can attract customers.

9. Other aspects

1) Standards and certifications

More than half of American peers believe that ISO certification helps maintain competitiveness, but it is not essential. The most popular ISO standard is ISO17100:2015 certification, which is passed by one out of every three companies.

The situation in China is that most bidding projects and internal procurement of some enterprises require ISO9001, so as a mandatory indicator, most translation companies still require certification. Compared to others, ISO17100 is a bonus point, and more foreign clients have this requirement. Therefore, translation companies will judge whether it is necessary to do this certification based on their own customer base. At the same time, there is also a strategic cooperation between the China Translation Association and the Fangyuan Logo Certification Group to launch A-level (A-5A) certification for translation services in China.

2) Key performance evaluation indicators

50% of American peers use revenue as a business indicator, and 28% of companies use profit as a business indicator. The most commonly used non-financial indicators are customer feedback, old customers, transaction rates, number of orders/projects, and new customers. Customer feedback is the most commonly used evaluation indicator in measuring output quality. The situation in China is similar.

3) Regulations and legislation

The updated scale standards from the Small Business Association of America (SBA) will take effect in January 2022. The threshold for translation and interpretation companies has been raised from $8 million to $22.5 million. SBA small businesses are eligible to receive reserved procurement opportunities from the federal government, participate in various business development programs, mentor programs, and have the opportunity to interact with various experts. The situation in China is different. There is a concept of small and micro enterprises in China, and support is more reflected in tax incentives.

4) Data privacy and network security

More than 80% of American peers have implemented policies and procedures as measures to prevent cyber incidents. More than half of the companies have implemented event detection mechanisms. Nearly half of the companies conduct regular risk assessments and establish roles and responsibilities related to cybersecurity within the company. This is more stringent than most Chinese translation companies.

二、 In summary, in the ALC report, we have seen several key words from American peer companies:

1. Growth

In 2023, facing a complex economic environment, the language service industry in the United States still maintains strong vitality, with most companies achieving growth and stable revenue. However, the current environment poses greater challenges to the profitability of companies. “Growth” remains the focus of language service companies in 2023, manifested by continuing to expand sales teams and optimizing the resource supply chain for interpreters and translators. At the same time, the level of mergers and acquisitions in the industry remains stable, mainly due to the hope of entering new vertical fields and regional markets.

2. Cost

Although the number of employees is constantly increasing, the labor market has also brought some obvious challenges; Excellent sales representatives and project managers are in short supply. Meanwhile, the pressure to control costs makes recruiting skilled freelance translators at favorable rates more challenging.

3. Technology

The wave of technological change is constantly reshaping the landscape of the language service industry, and enterprises are facing more and more technological choices and strategic decisions: how to effectively combine the innovation ability of artificial intelligence with human professional knowledge to provide diversified services? How to integrate new tools into workflow? Some small companies are concerned about whether they can keep up with technological changes. However, most translation colleagues in the United States have a positive attitude towards new technologies and believe that the industry has the ability to adapt to the new technological environment.

4. Service orientation

The customer-centric “service orientation” is a theme repeatedly proposed by American translation colleagues. The ability to adjust language solutions and strategies based on customer needs is considered the most important skill for employees in the language service industry.

The above keywords are also applicable in China. The companies with “growth” in the ALC report are not between 500000 and 1 million US dollars As a small business with revenue, TalkingChina Translation’s perception is also that the domestic translation business has tended to flow towards larger translation enterprises in recent years, showing a significant Matthew effect. From this perspective, increasing revenue is still the top priority. In terms of cost, translation companies previously purchased translation production prices that were mostly for manual translation, proofreading, or PEMT. However, in the new demand model where PEMT is increasingly used to output manual translation quality, how to adjust the production process, It is urgent and important to purchase a new cost for collaborating translators to perform in-depth proofreading on the basis of MT and ultimately output manual translation quality (different from simple PEMT), while providing corresponding new work guidelines.

In terms of technology, domestic peers are also actively embracing technology and making necessary adjustments to production processes. In terms of service orientation, whether TalkingChina Translate has a strong customer relationship or relies on continuous self-improvement, brand management, service refinement, and customer demand orientation. The evaluation indicator for quality is “customer feedback”, rather than believing that “a complete production and quality control process has been implemented”. Whenever there is confusion, going out, approaching customers, and listening to their voices is the top priority of customer management.

Although 2022 was the most severe year for the domestic epidemic, most domestic translation companies still achieved revenue growth. 2023 is the first year after the recovery of the epidemic. The complex political and economic environment, as well as the dual impact of AI technology, pose great challenges to the growth and profitability of translation companies. How to use technology to reduce costs and increase efficiency? How to win in the increasingly fierce price competition? How to better focus on customers and meet their ever-changing needs, especially the international language service needs of Chinese local enterprises in recent years, while their profit margins are being squeezed? Chinese translation companies are actively considering and practicing these issues. Apart from the differences in national conditions, we can still find some useful references from our American counterparts in the 2023ALC Industry Report.

This article is provided by Ms. Su Yang (General Manager of Shanghai TalkingChina Translation Consulting Co., Ltd.)

Post time: Feb-01-2024