2022 Year In Review: Translation Trends and Company Highlights
It’s not the new year without a year-end review, so we’re providing a recap of popular translation trends we’ve seen, as well as some notable company highlights from the last twelve months.
Translation industry trends by the numbers
Over 2022, our localization platform powered by artificial intelligence and refined by human translators has translated 3,439,098,479 words. German to English was the most popular word pair, followed by French to English and Spanish to German:
German-English: 455,298,638 – 13%
French-English: 371,302,992 – 11%
English-German: 301,000,812 – 9%
English-French: 263,942,564 – 8%
Italian-English: 179,979,945 – 5%
Introducing new language pairs
We already have dozens of language pairs available on our platform, and we wrapped up the year by introducing two new ones:
English ⇄ Croatian
Spanish-LATAM ⇄ Portuguese-Brazil
Top CRM integrations
For customer service agents, using Unbabel within their workflow versus general-purpose translators like Google Translate helps in delivering language translations to global audiences, all while maintaining a high degree of accuracy and security. The top three CRM integrations for business translations were:
Global Trends in Marketing Localization
We conducted a survey of more than 1,600 global marketers across eight countries to understand how they were localizing content as their brands scaled globally. We presented our findings in the report, Global Trends in Marketing Localization for 2023. Some notable trends we discovered include:
84% of respondents said that localizing content has had a moderately positive or extremely positive impact on revenue growth.
89% said they are planning on translating into additional languages within the next year, and 13% of them plan to translate into 9 or more.
75% of participants said their translation spend has been trending upward or is roughly stable.
39% of marketers said they are using Machine Translation as part of their localization strategy, and 83% of them are confident in the quality of their translations.
Check out the full report, Global Trends in Marketing Localization for 2023, to see how you stack up against your global marketing peers.
Unbabel participated in the World Machine Translation 2022 Translation Quality Estimation shared task. Among the 19 institutions that participated, Unbabel’s Quality Estimation technology ranked first in all categories. When evaluated based on its ability to predict the quality of various neural machine translation outputs, the performance of Unbabel’s Quality Estimation outranked all competitors, further validating that our technology is the best in the language services industry.
LangOps Universe returned
Unbabel’s flagship summit returned in person and online! The event featured sessions with brand partners from diverse industries, including e-commerce, publishing, aerospace, and more. They discussed their experiences in leveraging Unbabel’s translation services to successfully and cost-effectively build a custom global CX strategy. LangOps Universe also provided opportunities for us to reveal updates to our translation software and deliver higher-quality translations. You can watch complete sessions from the event at LangOps Universe On-Demand.
R&D at Unbabel
Translation technology is constantly evolving thanks to the dedication of software engineers, linguists, and professional translation experts. We’re proud to announce that our team has made a noteworthy breakthrough in quality estimation. This technological advancement in continuous translation quality intelligence pinpoints translation errors (similar to spell check), all in real-time. Identifying mistranslations enables corrections for more accurate translations which lead to better customer experiences. There’s nothing else like it on the translation market.
2022 also saw the R&D team publish a number of research papers that garnered recognition and acclaim. A few include:
Disentangling Uncertainty in Machine Translation Evaluation
CometKiwi: IST-Unbabel 2022 Submission for the Quality Estimation Shared Task
1st place in the Quality Estimation shared task
COMET-22: Unbabel-IST 2022 Submission for the Metrics Shared Task
Best Metric for into-English
Stop Using BLEU – Neural Metrics Are Better and More Robust
Findings of the WMT 2022 Shared Task on Quality Estimation
And many more! Check out the R&D section of our Resource Center to dig deeper into our research.
Enhancements to machine translation tools
This year, we also enhanced our machine translation tools to automatically identify and localize content using “Programmatic Localization.” This new function automates the translation process to increase efficiency and reduce turnaround time. What does this look like? It could be as simple as automatically reformatting a date (DD/MM, MM/DD) or the reading direction (from left to right) when translating between different languages like English and Arabic.
EU-sponsored translation project
Unbabel participated in QUARTZ (Quality-Aware Machine Translation), a six-month project funded by ELISE (European Location Interoperability Solutions for e-Government). The purpose of the initiative was to advance Responsible Machine Translation, which is key to unblocking domains where translation quality is critical, such as healthcare, legal, and finance.
Tackling 2023 together
2022 has been instrumental for both Unbabel and the translation industry as a whole. We look forward to continuing innovating new advancements in translation technology to help brands and businesses better connect.
Check out our Resource Center for more updates and buckle up for an even more exciting 2023!