Monday, March 02, 2020

Spotlight on the Israeli Translation Market

The size and shape of each country's translation industry differs enormously. I was sent the following article by Tomedes, a translation agency founded in Israel and specializing in Hebrew translation. Read on to discover an interesting description of the translation market in Israel, from the most sought-after services and languages to insights into coming trends. 

There is no commercial relationship between Tomedes and myself or my company.


Spotlight on the Israeli Translation Market

by Ofer Tirosh, founder and CEO of Tomedes


Top Israeli Business Translation Needs

When it comes to professional translation in Israel, three services are enjoying a boom in demand: software localization, marketing translation and legal translation. It is the strength of Israel's tech industry that creates the demand for software localization. This same industry also has a large appetite for marketing translation, as do the local medical and gaming industries.

Marketing translation in Israel, from Hebrew to English, is used to reach out to international companies. Online retailers, in particular, are upping their game there, after Amazon launched first an English-language site for Israeli shoppers and then, towards the end of 2019, a Hebrew-language site (an event which saw Hebrew language translation services being engaged at scale during the run-up).

Many Israeli businesses are also seeking legal translation services from English into Hebrew and vice versa.


Hebrew Translators Are Just the Beginning

In terms of the most sought-after language pairings, Hebrew-English and English-Hebrew are just the start. Professional translators for Hebrew-Spanish, Hebrew-Russian and Hebrew-French are all much in demand.

Immigration has climbed almost every year since 2008. Israel welcomed 13,701 immigrants in that year, compared to 34,000 in 2019. This influx of new residents is driving demand for professional translation of official documents.


How the Market for Translation Services in Israel Has Changed

In recent years, the market for translation services in Israel has undergone complex changes. Language translator Avishay Beidani wrote in the Times of Israel that the field of literary translation is not sustainable, observing that, "the amount of compensation was so low as to be insulting."

While demand for particular kinds of translation has waxed and waned, over the past decade globalisation has significantly increased the need for translation, localization and interpretation services in Israel. The translation industry now generates billions of dollars every year as companies strive to break down global trade barriers and increase their international footprint.


What Does the Future Hold for Professional Translators in Israel?

It's not just technical translation needs that are ramping up, but requests for video translation and transcription as well. The user experience on the internet is changing rapidly. Static content is out; dynamic and engaging content packed with infographics and videos is very much in. Companies looking to maximise their reach and their sales figures are embracing this wholeheartedly  hence a spike in demand for video translation services that looks set to continue for some years to come.

Japanese and Chinese translation services are also likely to be big business in Israel over the coming years, just as they are around the globe. Both Japan and China have invested, and will continue to invest heavily, in the future of the cyber/technology industry. Israel plays a major role in this industry, with Tel Aviv being home to a dynamic tech scene. The city has one of the highest startup densities in the world, at around 2,500 startups across its 435,000 residents.

Then there's the demand for military industry translation. Israel is exporting an increasing amount of weapons and new cyber technologies to East Asian and European countries  all of which presents plenty of opportunities for a language translation company offering the right specialist knowledge and skills.

Hand-in-hand with these major trends is the need for customer care. This means that a document translation company that wants to meet the needs and expectations of Israeli clients needs to prioritize customer service by providing dedicated account managers as well as translators, making support services available outside of regular business hours (and ideally round the clock), being able to respond to changing customer needs, providing urgent translation services for priority documents... the list goes on!

Only a translation agency that delivers on all of these fronts and more will be able to fully harness the potential that the Israeli translation market presents. That potential is not to be underestimated. A translation company that is dynamic in its approach, engaged with major market trends and flexible in the way that it both scans the horizon for future trends and adapts to those trends will find the Israeli translation market a welcoming place indeed.