What are the main trends in translation in 2020-2021?

translation - transcreation - MTPE

So, this post describes new development trends in the translation industry in 2020 and 2021. This post is about the new things in the translation industry. They include a transcreation, specialization in translation, MTPE, and etc. Let`s start…

1) Machine translation and post-editing;
2) Transcreation;
3) Further specialization in translation;
4) Translation of video clips and processing of subtitles;
5) Further development and promotion of e-learning courses;
6) Content translation.


In fact, a machine translation has existed for over 60 years, but it is only recently that translation specialists have begun to take this activity seriously. It is primarily due to the development of neural machine translation (NMT). For the same reason, machine translation post-editing (MTPE) is increasingly in demand. According to experts, the global machine translation market will reach $980 billion in 2022. So, how is the process of performing this type of translation organized?

1. Machine translation with pre-editing. Source texts are in such a way that the subsequent machine translation is as easy as possible, i.e., language structures are standardized and simplified.

2. Machine translation with post-editing.

3. A combined approach. Machine translation with post-editing, i.e., language structures, are standardized and simplified. Distinguishes itself by the high complexity of implementation, requires too much time.

4. Machine translation without editing.

Purpose of use a machine translation

However, it is not possible to use machine translation technology even with the addition of editing for all types of documents. As a rule, documents used by the client classify into marketing materials, technical manuals; internal documents; documents for review; some documents for inspection bodies.

1. Publication of marketing materials designed to attract clients.

2. Technical descriptions and manuals intended for technical specialists of the client.

3. Internal customer documents with not too strict requirements for accuracy and style.

4. Machine translation without post-editing.

5. Materials whose translation is required only from a formal point of view.


This word came from a fusion of two English words: Transcreation~ translation + creation; German: die Transcreation; Chinese: 创译~创造+翻译, and Russian: творческая адаптация или творческий перевод ~ перевод + творчество. In the first place, the term “transcreation” appeared in 2000. As a matter of fact, game producers began to adapt products because they noticed that just translation does not “go” as well as transcription. By this word, we mean marketing translation, international adaptation. Transcreation is the activity on the border between translation and copy-writing. Such work combines translation and creativity. Creativity here is understood not as a boundless flight of the author’s imagination, but as an act of creativity under given conditions, comparable with the work of an advertiser. This type of translation does not yet constitute the majority of the translation industry. Nevertheless, creative translation shows stable development recently.

Importance of transcreation

This type of translation is ideal for translating marketing materials such as presentations and advertising publications. That is to say, transcreation is the complete reworking of the original idea and its subsequent transfer by the expressive means of another language. The client expects a translator to be able to adapt texts or even entire marketing campaigns so that they sound as if they were in the target language.

The main goal of such a translation is to reach the target audience by effectively conveying the emotional and creative features of the marketing message. In other words, a potential buyer’s decision to purchase a specific product arises out of his or her own desire to solve the problem. It is possible by synthesizing information, entertainment, emotions, and logical arguments in favor of a product or service in one complex. The text is subject to special processing, taking into account local realities. Transcreation is ideal for promoting a company brand to a new market in another country.

Final goal of transcreation

The focus on the target audience acquires great importance in the process of translations. Transcreation involves the processing of the source text. The difference between the original and the final product may eventually turn out to be significant. The main task of the transcriber (translator participating in the transcription) is first to understand the original text, to select its key ideas, to assimilate the emotional load, and then to translate it into another language, but taking into account the characteristics of the target audience. They are the national cultural peculiarities. The final document should contain the same message as the source text, but express these thoughts in the language of the audience.

In other words, a transcreation is the adaptation of the content of the original text at all levels, including adjustment of the visual range, intonation, and style. Transcreation may be necessary, for example, to adapt a product name. For instance, the Japanese corporation Mitsubishi for advertising in Spain changed the brand Pajero, as this word caused people in Spain have the wrong associations. Or to adopt an advertising message. Any advertisement is hard to imagine without a slogan.

A few examples of how transcreation works

Meanwhile, a literal translation of an advertising slogan very rarely helps the advertiser to achieve the planned results (sales volume, number of subscribers, etc.). Much more often, the translated slogan has little in common with the original. The primary purpose of the advertising slogan is to cause customers positive associations and a desire to order a product or service. Another example: McDonald’s adapts taglines and menus for each country in which institutions work. In India, for example, half the population is vegetarian. Local McDonald’s don’t serve beef and pork burgers; they use chicken meat for their signature dish.

Specialization of translation

A translator is required to have a good command of the working foreign language and mother tongue. The translator must catch the message with all the details in the original text, so without knowledge of the idiom in both languages, the ability to find an equivalent for them in the translated language will not be able to perform high-quality creative translation. Knowledge of local realities of different cultures, references to personalities, facts of history, national archetypes – all this also deserves close attention.

It may be trivial, but the more specialized a translator is, the more attractive his services are for potential clients. According to Charles Martin in his article Specialization in Translation – myths and realities (Translation Journal, Vol. 16 No. 2, 2011), the main reasons for such specialization may also be: 1) the rapid growth of information; 2) the Internet. That is, at present, a translator can find clients who may be interested in his specialization.

Personal specialization of a translator

In previous articles, I have repeatedly given examples of such specialization. I specialize in translating technical, legal, and marketing documents. The main specialization of technical translation: metallurgy, metalworking; electrical equipment; machine tools; hydraulic and pneumatic equipment. The range of legal translation includes civil law, civil procedure law, business law, and copyright protection. Thus, in the process of legal translation, I am greatly assisted by my previously obtained legal education. A translator needs to have specific skills when choosing a specialization in the translation industry.

Translation of video and subtitles

According to Cisco, in 2021, 80% of Internet traffic will come from video clips. On Facebook, for example, about 85% of videos are played without sound, so subtitles for the target language audience are essential. When translating a video, it is vital to preserve the timestamps of the original video and present the result in the required format. Therefore, the ability to work with video is already an essential competitive competence for the translator. A video translation consists of transcription (or transcription), text translation (subtitles), and, if necessary, sounding, resounding, duplication. For example, recently, the translation of certain materials has been gaining popularity:

1) Flash-presentations;
2) Video instructions;
3) Films;
4) Radio advertising;
5) Video materials for websites.

Translation of training courses

For example, the market for online education services, according to Forbes magazine, may reach 325 billion dollars in 2025. However, most online courses are only available in the English language version. Again, this opens up new opportunities for your business if you want to enter to the market of non-English speaking countries.

Recently, the global economy has been actively developing the content economy. As a matter of fact, a content is information in the form of text, video, audio, graphics, or other information that is on a website. Sources of the material may be foreign sites with similar themes. Or, conversely, a company wants to reach out to its potential customers in other countries. In this case, translation is compulsory. The content economy is an emerging paradigm of how modern business stimulates growth in the virtual services market.

Needless to say, a content has already become one of the essential tools for sales and marketing. As a result, the material itself, created by a company to develop its business, is growing at a considerable pace. Nowadays, every successful business simultaneously acts as a content creator as a separate product.

If you have a question, please feel free and contact Aleksandr. He is happy to help you. Let`s contact him.