The health emergency has revolutionised everything, and linguistic services are no exception. As we slowly get back to normal, it’s worth thinking for a moment about how what happened has affected our business, how it will influence it in the future, and what opportunities have opened up for our customers.
Like many other organisations, interlanguage has begun its transition to the “new normal”. After almost three months of smart working – with just a minimal staff in the office – our team is starting to reassemble. However, to ensure the very highest safety levels, this return will be gradual and will take several weeks.
It is inevitable that such a dramatic event will have lasting consequences. Today, we’d like to take a look at the positives to emerge from the storm. First and foremost Digital Transformation: although our industry is digital by vocation, there’s no denying that the changes to working methods in the last few months have provided a major boost in this direction. But let’s look at what’s changed.
What’s changed in interpreting services
With the epidemic, the demand for interpreting services completely disappeared. Meetings, events, exhibitions and congresses were cancelled: all face-to-face international communication ceased. In its place, we’ve seen a plethora of video calls, conference calls, web meetings and webinars, on multiple platforms. However, there are plenty of positives for us from this scenario. Remote interpreting, virtually unknown pre-Covid, is becoming routine. Our interpreters log on to the customer’s platform of choice to translate conversations, negotiations, online press conferences, etc. This technology is destined to grow and grow, and is an excellent business opportunity, certain to continue even when the emergency is over and done with.
The only type of interpreting service to buck this trend was Italian sign language interpreting: both national and local government have needed to keep the public informed about the progress of the epidemic every day, and have made great efforts to reach the most vulnerable members of the community. During the emergency interlanguage provided the sign language interpreting service for the daily live Facebook bulletins issued by the Emilia-Romagna Region, from remote. And even now, in Phase 2, the public information service is being continued in the same way. Only a few months ago, a solution of this kind would have seemed unlikely, to say the least …
What’s changed in translation services
Almost all written international communication has moved on-line. Use of paper media has to a large extent ceased. This has implications above all in terms of increased demand for translations for e-commerce, websites and company Intranets. In corporations with a strong global presence, the pandemic has generated a continuous flow of information from top management to personnel worldwide. From health and safety regulations to measures to contain the epidemic, everything has been translated into multiple languages, to reach all employees. There has also been a large increase in audiovisual communication, and thus in demand for multimedia translations: videos for company websites, YouTube and all social media channels. This type of translation is also going to be more and more widely used in the future by all businesses, of all sizes and in all industries.
Major changes are under way. We are determined to face them with a focus on the positives of this new normal, to keep supporting you and your – increasingly digital – international communications.