Review of language business & technologies in Europe by Andrew Joscelyne
Digital Single Market, Merging Translation Agendas Last autumn, the European Union voted in a new President, finalized the members of its new Commission, and began to announce plans for encouraging growth in a beleaguered economy. From a translation perspective, the flagship item on the new fiveyear agenda will be setting in motion the Digital Single Market (DSM) – a continent-wide online market for goods and services worth €250B that would induce a paradigm shift in cross-border trading between consumers, business and governments. Above all, by trying to lift the barrier raised by the EU’s 24 official languages. So what’s the game plan for making the DSM truly multilingual? The DSM will round off the development of the existing single market that has mainly benefitted B2B trading. It was forged through the single currency of the euro, and supported by a trans-European rail service, the Schengen customs agreement for a subset of countries, and other forms of cross-border administrative and legal easing. Making the EU marketplace ‘digital’ looks like a much more complex enterprise than making it ‘single’. The idea is to stimulate a massive consumer marketplace on top of an IT and telecoms platform. The key drivers will be ubiquitous mobile communications and omnichannel retailing, fuelled in due course by the rollout of 5G telecoms networks within next 10 years that will offer the bandwidth
to generate far richer customer and citizen engagement than we have seen hitherto. Think of such emerging content technologies as integrated augmented and virtual reality, interactive ads, immersive video marketing, social robotics, in-car systems and wearable connectedness, and intelligent collaborative environments. More CEX-y In this kind of environment for a multilingual marketplace, the critical notion of ‘customer experience’ will involve far more than good old website localisation, linked government databases, and translating chat messages for aftersales services (see the Factbox about eBay’s European translation strategy).
How eBay translates for the EU Single Market According to Malcolm Ishida of eBay and Paula Shannon of Lionbridge, speaking at Localization World in 2014, eBay is planning to sell all its inventory anywhere in EU at any time. This means translating all of the relevant content into multiple languages. eBay foresees e-commerce growth of some 30% between 2013 and 2017 in France, Germany and the UK, largely driven by the mobile experience but involving omnichannel capability. And machine translation is the game-changer engine that will drive this expansion. The complexity of the process of converting visitors into customers in milliseconds means that technology is more an advisor than just an enabler, as it provides the information needed to make decisions. The overall process involves translating intertwined commerce and content.
The Quality Issue January 2015 For more info: email@example.com