By the Numbers:

Tracking the COVID-19 Pandemic’s Influence on the Language Industry

By the Numbers:

Tracking the COVID-19 Pandemic’s Influence on the Language Industry

In the 20 months since COVID-19 first came onto our radar, the technology and ideas shaping the language industry have evolved quite a bit.  As we come to the close of another pandemic-addled year, it’s worth breaking these developments down by looking at the data.

Companies Investing in Virtual Interpreting Technology (VIT)

Since the pandemic first took hold of the world, a handful of industry outsiders recognized great potential in VIT. 

The Largest Interpreting Companies in the Game Right Now

In September, Nimdzi released its 2021 Interpreting Index, ranking the 35 largest providers of interpreting services in the language industry. The report, based on revenues from 2020, shows that the combined revenue of the top 10 interpreting providers in the index rose by 16.2% from the release of the last index in 2019.

“As a result of the boom in VIT, we have seen the emergence of new platforms, new features, and integrations of remote interpreting technology with major video conferencing platforms,” according to the report.

Zoom’s Growth and Foray into Translation

Zoom, the company behind the now-omnipresent digital communications platform, was founded in 2012, but didn’t quite break into the mainstream until the pandemic hit. The increased global demand for the company’s services in such a short period of time has also pushed the company to develop in-house language solutions, with the acquisition of German MT and AI start-up Kites earlier this year. 

  • February 20, 2020 →

    This date marks the beginning of what economists consider the “Stock Market Crash of 2020.” Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (ZM) shares close at 105.1.

  • March 11, 2020 →

    The WHO declares the spread of COVID-19 to be a worldwide pandemic.

  • March 12, 2020 →

    U.S. stock markets fall sharply, with the Dow Jones dropping a total of 2,352.60 points.

  • March 16, 2020 →

    Dow Jones drops even further, down 2,997.10 points. ZM shares, however, are at 130.55, up 24% from a week prior.

  • April 7, 2020 →

    This date marks the end of the “Stock Market Crash of 2020.” ZM shares close at 113.75.

  • July 24, 2020 →

    Boostlingo, which provides video interpreting services through its own platform, becomes one of the first RSI companies to develop and launch Zoom integration, though Zoom still lacks any sort of native interpreting functionality.

  • October 19, 2020 →

    Up to this point, ZM shares are on a strong upward trend, peaking on this day. ZM reaches a high of 588.84 before closing at 568.34.

  • June 29, 2021 →

    Zoom announces that it has acquired the MT-focused start-up, Kites, and says that the company is looking into developing MT solutions for the platform.

  • September 13, 2021 →

    Zoom announces that it will launch a live translation and transcription function for the platform within the next year. The platform will transcribe subtitles for 30 languages and will translate spoken language in 12.

Data source: Nimdzi Insights –  Compiled by Andrew Warner, staff writer for MultiLingual.  

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