Did you know that there are more than 7,000 languages all over the world? This is why it’s hardly surprising that the translation services industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds. But why stop with just a single fact? We thought we’d give you a better perspective on the translation and language services industry by sharing some fun facts on translation. Here’s some trivia on translation you should know about in 2019.
International Translation Day
St. Jerome’s feast day is International Translation Day. St. Jerome is a famous translator of Christian history. He translated the Old Testament to Latin directly from the original Hebrew. His feast day, which commemorates his death on September 30, has also become International Translation Day.
The best languages to translate
The most specific languages to translate are English, French, German, Italian and Russian, making them the best languages in the translation industry.
What about me?
In the first decade of the 21st century, more than 75% of the books published between 2000 and 2010 were translated into French or German, and only 5% of them were translated into Chinese. This is astounding considering that Chinese is the most spoken language in the world!
On professional translators
A professional translator can translate give or take 250 words in an hour. A translator who works full time can translate about 520,000 words per year! That’s a lot of words!
Too many to learn!
The most spoken languages are Chinese, Spanish, English and Hindi—in that order.
As ancient as Rome
The translation profession is more than 2,000 years old! You heard right: it is believed that the Old Testament was translated into Greek in the 3rd century BC, which makes it the oldest translation.
Most translated authors
The three most translated authors are Agatha Christie, Jules Verne and William Shakespeare.
According to a recent survey, there are more than 300,000 certified translators—enough to populate an entire town with people.
“Million Dollar Baby”
Last year’s estimates put the translation industry’s annual revenue at $40 billion worldwide, and it continues to grow rapidly, which is in line with the projected 42% growth rate between 2010 and 2018.
The easiest language to translate
There’s a language that’s so much easier to translate than English. According to the majority of translators who have years of experience, Spanish is the easiest language to translate. This is because in Spanish, words are written out exactly as they’re pronounced, which makes it easier to learn and translate.