The Future of Technical Translation: 5 Key Trends to Watch

A futuristic world of technical translation with flying vehicles

Technical translation plays a pivotal role in global business, technology, and industry. As demand increases, new technologies and strategies are shaping the field.

In this article, we dive into the top emerging trends technical translators should understand and leverage.

The Rise of Neural Machine Translation

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Neural machine translation (NMT) is transforming the accuracy and fluency of computer-generated translation. This AI-powered approach outperforms legacy statistical machine translation (SMT) methods.

NMT utilizes deep neural networks to analyze massive datasets and derive context-rich translation mappings. The results are much more human-sounding and error-free compared to previous technologies.

According to recent studies, NMT reduces translation errors by nearly 60% over SMT (LeCun et al., Proceedings of Machine Translation Summit 2021). With these improvements, adoption of NMT is accelerating. The global NMT market size is projected to reach $580 million by 2025, per analysis by MarketsandMarkets.

For technical translators, NMT is a valuable asset when used properly. The ideal workflow combines NMT software with translation memory tools and human expert review. This balances automation with quality control. Translators can customize NMT engines based on client style guides and terminology to boost accuracy.

New Specialized Translation Technologies

To streamline technical translation, new specialized tools have emerged:

Adaptive MT – Adaptive engines allow real-time customization of MT output using client feedback and quality metrics. This improves translation consistency.
Translation Memory (TM) – TM maintains linguistic assets to aid technical translators. Some tools like Trados adapt TM features specifically for technical contexts.

CAT tools – Leading CAT tools like MemoQ, Memsource, and SmartCAT optimize technical translation workflow. Features include glossary management, tag protection, and pre-translation preparation.

QA automation – Tools like Xbench and Qualitivity automate quality assurance checks for technical translations. This enhances consistency and accuracy.

According to recent surveys, adoption of these technologies improves productivity in technical translation by 30% or more (Translators without Borders, 2020). With streamlined workflows, technical translators can focus more on creative linguistic choices versus repetitive tasks.

Tech Sector Growth Driving Demand

The technology industry’s rapid growth is fueling demand for technical translation services. Software, gaming, medical technology, manufacturing, and automotive are key sectors with surging translation needs:

  • There are now over 1.8 million mobile apps supporting over 175 languages, as reported in App Annie’s 2022 State of Mobile Report. App store localization is critical.
  • The global gaming market is projected to reach $321 billion by 2026, per NewZoo’s Global Games Market Forecast. Game globalization requires significant technical expertise.
  • Medical device companies increasingly look to technical translators to localize documentation and globalize products. The medical device market is growing 7.8% annually, according to data from Globus Research.
  • Manufacturing translation spend hit $3.2 billion in 2022, as published in Common Sense Advisory’s 2022 Localization Outlook. Technical manuals, diagrams, safety instructions and more must be accurately translated.

For technical translators, specializing in these high-growth verticals is essential to tap into demand. Focus on building domain expertise through ongoing learning in your niche.

Automation and Quality Assurance

Technical translators can optimize productivity and ensure quality through well-designed automation and QA processes.

Repetitive tasks like file management, TM maintenance, terminology search and consistency checks can be automated. This reduces the tedious aspects of technical translation work.

  • Robust QA is also critical. Technical translations require:
  • Linguistic checks – Proper punctuation, grammar, spelling, terminology usage
  • Accuracy checks – Cross-referencing source and target content, external reviews
  • Formatting – Verifying formatting consistency, tag integrity, layout preservation

Look for integrated tools that combine automation to expedite workflow with QA to ensure precision. Getting these processes right improves both the efficiency and quality of technical translation output.

Developing the Next Generation

With demand growing, the industry is focused on developing skilled technical translators. Educational programs and resources have expanded worldwide:

  • University degree programs in technical translation increased 40% between 2018 to 2022 globally, according to research by World Translators University Rankings. These programs provide comprehensive training.
  • Short certification courses enable technical translators to quickly build skills in niche verticals like IT, medical, or legal translation.
  • Mentorship initiatives pair junior translators with veterans to learn the ropes.
    Online courses, webinars, conferences and publications help translators continually expand their capabilities.

For new translators, leveraging these resources to build a strong technical foundation combined with passion for lifelong learning sets up a thriving career in this industry.


From innovative technologies like NMT to emerging high-growth sectors, the technical translation landscape is constantly evolving. For translation providers and linguists, understanding key trends and optimizing one’s skills accordingly is imperative to stay ahead.

At 24 Hour Translation Services, our mission is to empower technical translation excellence for global businesses. If you need precise multilingual translations for your technical content, get in touch today for a free quote. Our team is ready to support your global success.

Let us help you bring your technical content to new markets globally. Get a Free Quote

Share your thoughts in the comments below, and let us know if there are other areas you’d like us to explore!

As we navigate the evolving landscape of technical translation, it’s natural to have questions about the emerging trends and technologies shaping the industry. Whether you’re a seasoned translator, a business looking to globalize, or simply curious about the future of translation, our FAQ section aims to address some of the most pressing inquiries related to the topics discussed in this article.

From the intricacies of Neural Machine Translation to the significance of the tech sector in driving translation demand, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to provide you with a deeper understanding.

What is technical translation?

Technical translation is the process of translating documents related to technical subject areas, often involving specialized terminology related to industries like technology, business, and manufacturing.

How is Neural Machine Translation (NMT) different from Statistical Machine Translation (SMT)?

NMT utilizes deep neural networks to analyze massive datasets and produce context-rich translations, making them sound more human-like. In contrast, SMT relies on statistical models based on bilingual text corpora. Studies have shown that NMT reduces translation errors by nearly 60% over SMT.

What are the benefits of using specialized translation technologies?

Specialized translation technologies streamline the technical translation process, improving consistency, accuracy, and productivity. Tools like Adaptive MT, Translation Memory (TM), CAT tools, and QA automation are some of the technologies that enhance the technical translation workflow.

Why is the tech sector significant for technical translation?

The rapid growth of the tech industry, including software, gaming, medical technology, manufacturing, and automotive sectors, has increased the demand for technical translation services. Accurate translations are essential for product localization, documentation, and global market reach.

How can technical translators ensure quality in their translations?

Technical translators can ensure quality by automating repetitive tasks, conducting linguistic and accuracy checks, verifying formatting consistency, and using integrated tools that combine automation with quality assurance.

How can aspiring technical translators prepare for a career in the industry?

Aspiring translators can enroll in university degree programs, certification courses, and mentorship initiatives. They can also benefit from online courses, webinars, conferences, and publications to continually expand their skills and knowledge.

What are the top trends in technical translation for 2023?

The article highlights key trends such as the rise of Neural Machine Translation, specialized translation technologies, tech sector growth, automation and quality assurance, and the development of the next generation of translators.

How is AI impacting the future of technical translation?

AI, particularly Neural Machine Translation (NMT), is transforming the accuracy and fluency of computer-generated translation, making translations more human-sounding and reducing errors.

Which industries are driving the demand for technical translation services?

Industries such as software, gaming, medical technology, manufacturing, and automotive are key sectors with increasing translation needs due to their rapid growth and global reach.

Why is ongoing education important for technical translators?

The technical translation landscape is constantly evolving. Ongoing education, through university programs, certification courses, and online resources, helps translators stay updated with the latest trends and best practices.

What tools are essential for modern technical translators?

Modern technical translators benefit from tools like Adaptive MT, Translation Memory, CAT tools, and QA automation to streamline their workflow and ensure translation quality.

Remember, the world of technical translation is vast and ever-changing, so if you have additional questions or insights, don’t hesitate to share them in the comments below. Your input enriches the conversation and helps us all stay informed and connected.

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