Despite global recession, the $ 500 million Indian language translation sector, a sunrise industry, is likely to take off in a big way in the next three years, trade sources feel.

The Asian language translation market revenue accounted for $ 1312 million in 2008 and is projected to reach $ 1410 million in 2009 and touch $ 1516 million in 2010, according to Research and Consulting firm, Common Services Advisory.

The Indian translation market is poised for big growth as it is regarded as a great consumer base and especially as more and more multinational companies are setting shop here and the need to speak the language of the local populace is being felt more strongly than ever before, the sources said.

Currently Indian language market size might be estimated at “approximate value” of $ 500 million, Chinmayi Sripada, CEO of Chennai-based Blue Elephant, a leading language translation service provider, told PTI.

The estimate was based assuming India’s share at five per cent of the global market as per the growth pattern projected by Common Sense Advisory and also NASSCOM reports that India was sharing 5.2 per cent of the Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) market, she said.

She feels the language translation market has not yet hit boom time. ”It is still classified as a sun-rise industry and I think the boom will happen perhaps in the next three years.’

Ms. Chinmayi admits that recession has hit business globally. “Some of my clients worked on cutting down translation expenditure. But at the same time, this has also been the period where we have been able to tie up with new MNCs with regard to interpretation services.” Language translation service forayed into India in the late nineties with the internet gaining wider acceptance among the community. Earlier, linguists used to travel to the country concerned or work used to come to them.

Translation service providers say that the major market is still outside India with a majority of clients showing interest in translating the related text into several widely spoken Indian languages.

“With more tie-ups happening and with entrepreneurs wanting to add localization/interpretation/translation as another service of value to their clients, the translation industry is undoubtedly growing,” Ms. Chinmayi said.

Trade sources said though the market is growing, the challenge to it is that a major component of the industry functions in an unorganized, unaffiliated nature which, they feel, affects the quality of the final product.

Asked about this, Ms. Chinmayi said with individual linguists there is a “serious lack of professionalism and commitment.” “A lot of linguists in the market, especially interpreters of foreign languages do not have a great command over the English language, especially if they are translating into English,” she said.

Blue Elephant’s major clients, who include Scope, Ashok Leyland, Covansys (Now CSC), Ford, AdventNet, iGate and Renault Nissan, has recently started providing Japanese Interpretation services to various clients in Chennai.

The company’s recent assignments on interpretation and Translation have been in Japanese and Nordic Germanic languages like Dutch and Norwegian. “Our company has worked in 118 languages so far,” she said. It plans to soon set up offices in Mumbai, Delhi and the US.

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