While many people around the world have felt some sort of effect from the Global recession it seems that the language industry has largely bypassed this, as we see growth projections of 13% for the coming year. The language industry currently turns over $35 billion per year and employs over 200,000 in the US alone.
As Globalisation continues to put pressure on firms to localise offerings and communications there is increasing opportunity for business development, particularly in emerging markets.
The growth of the Triple A markets (Asia, Africa and Arab) is a major contributing factor for the industry’s expansion. CEO of the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA), Hans Fenstermacher, suggests that the rapid spread of the internet, coupled with the projected economic growth in Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East are accelerating the demand for translation and localisation services in these regions.
Africa is made up of 53 countries, with over 2,000 languages and dialects. It is a multicultural landscape rich in resources and the business world is starting to take note.
Africa is experiencing it’s longest income boom in over 30 years going from stagnation to above 5% GDP growth on average. This growth has led to a growing middle class and an increase in demand for consumer goods. African governments are trying to encourage consumption by introducing strategies that will reduce transaction costs.
The IMF forecasts that seven of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies will be African. Nations like Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Congo, Ghana, Zambia, and Nigeria are expected to expand by more than 6 per cent per annum until 2015
According to the GSM Association, Africa is the fastest growing region for mobiles in the world with an estimated 700million sim cards in use. Growing internet usage has created increased consumer demand for targeted communication as a McKinsey report highlights.
40% of Africans from non-English speaking countries such as Angola, Algeria and Senegal said that localised content was the key change that they wanted to see in the internet.