Trends, Technology and The Translation Services Industry – Jessica Rathke

We take pride in building valued and meaningful relationships with other professionals from across our sector at McFelder. We first connected with Jessica Rathke in 2012, and since have collaborated with her to provide translation sales training for our team. Jessica has 29 years of experience in the translations and localisation sector and has added significant value to us here at McFelder. We recently caught up with Jessica, who has kindly shared her perspective on the importance of the translation services industry.

“When I first stumbled into the translation services industry, I was working in the United States for a British computer company which offered translation services, and I was hooked! I had been longing for a career where I could combine my linguistic, business and cross-cultural skills and finally I had found it.

My name is Jessica Rathke, and I have been part of the translation services industry since 1991, with 29 years of experience, I’m considered a ‘veteran’ of the industry. I find language services fascinating; they act as an engine for cross-border communication and without them, international business would cease. A common thread in the industry is the changing perspective that we gain through cross-border relationships. For the past seven years, I have collaborated with McFelder, and our growing relationship has exemplified the curiosity and respect for international communication.

The rise of billion-person markets, the demand of global local precision and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have significantly impacted international communication and the translation industry, meaning the need of B2B translation is continually increasing. According to McKinsey & Company, cross-border data flows are now growing 50 times faster than the past decade, and new technology is going to help translation companies meet this demand.

A significant portion of these cross-border data flows will be with ‘non-traditional’ markets such as Southeast Asia, India and parts of Africa. The GDP of these markets is expected to far exceed the traditional powerhouses such as Europe, North America and even China. As these billion-person markets flex their economic muscles, they will require support and McFelder are perfectly prepared for this trend, offering over 200 language combinations.

The innovative online tools available have enabled delivery times to reduce without sacrificing quality. This is particularly evident within language services companies who are exploiting the capabilities that AI offers without relying solely on machines. Although, caution is advised when using AI for translations as not all content and language pairs are suitable for this technology. McFelder has grasped this concept entirely by offering a range of translation types from ISO certified for specialised translations to Neural Machine Translations (NMT) with human post-editing for documents not intended to be published.

Advancing technology has created a growing desire for personalised customer experiences, even in B2B markets. Therefore, businesses will increasingly need to provide local precision on an international scale from both a linguistic and product customisation perspective. Supporting linguistic and cultural preferences are an essential part of this trend, and translation companies are the go-to to facilitate this.

These trends offer opportunities to help businesses thrive on a global scale. The languages industry is ever-changing and always on the cutting edge of global trends. This industry has enabled me to gain experiences that other careers may not have offered. Having a global community of colleagues and friends, such as the team at McFelder, is truly special.”

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