The industry ranges from translation/interpreting and localization services, language technology development, language teaching and consultancy in linguistic issues. Localization services are the ones that help international firms turn their intranets, websites and even some software into Chinese as they open offices and start operations in China.

They represent a booming language service industry that has grown with China’s opening, rapid economic development and increased globalization as China is the second-largest economy in the world.

A very conservative estimate of a total revenue of the translation and localization outsourcing market in China is more than 12 billion yuan (about $1.9 billion), It accounted for 7 percent of the $26.3 billion global market for outsourced language services, a 2010 figure that came from US-based consultant Common Sense Advisory, Huang said. Market demand is expected to increase as more Chinese companies seek to develop overseas.

The bulk of language services deals with straight technical, industrial and business translations that emphasize accurate renderings of meanings from one language to another.

At present, there is only one general national accreditation test for translators and interpreters.

In the actual translation and interpreting market, specialization is often required. What’s more, the language service industry also requires other types of talents, such as multilingual project managers, tool developers and terminologists.

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