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Our Analysts' Insights

AB5, COVID-19, and the Plight of Freelance Linguists

The COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty about California Bill 5 (AB5) and similar laws have created turbulence for freelance linguists. Together, they show both the strengths and challenges that the translators and interpreters who power the industry face. COVID-19 has shown how precarious a position many of them are in, including highly successful professionals. Regardless of whether linguists are employees or freelancers, the current situation demonstrates how interconnected all parties are and ...
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What CEOs of LSPs Are Thinking about COVID-19 and Its Effects

Over the last 10 days CSA Research conducted several online group meetings with its various Leadership Councils and LSP research members, mainly CEOs of LSPs of all sizes. This executive brief summarizes and reports the themes, topics, and questions shared by members during these sessions. We arranged their input in four groups: Uncertainty, Business Planning, Operations, and The View Ahead.
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LSP Leadership in the Time of COVID-19

With so much fear and uncertainty driven by the COVID-19 global crisis, there’s not enough information or solid data to make any reliable forecast about a global industry that serves many geographies, verticals, and applications. What we can say is that some companies will see more business, others no changes, and still others will lose clients or business. In the absence of primary data at this stage, what is certain is that leadership during the COVID-19 crisis is more critically important th...
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Removing the Rashomon Effect from Market Analysis

Wouldn’t it be great if we could eliminate the Rashomon effect from the language services and technology industry? If somehow, we didn’t have to rely on guesses, estimations, or conjectures? That’s exactly what CSA Research does.
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The Love-Hate Relationship That Freelancers Have with Agencies

Translators and interpreters have a complicated relationship with language service providers. They depend greatly on them for revenue, but often just don’t like dealing with an intermediary. In CSA Research’s survey of more than 7,300 linguists, we inquired about the working relationship between freelancers and their LSP customers.
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Post-Sales Support Can Seriously Damage the Customer Experience

You buy a product or service once. What that means is that your journey from prospective buyer to customer can be a long and fraught passage. However, once you own it, the challenge changes to how to use it when you install it or something goes wrong. In our research on non-Anglophone markets, we stress-test post-sales support by putting ourselves in the shoes of people who don’t speak or read English very well but run into a problem. If a buyer in Bucharest is lucky, there may be documentation...
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Direct-to-Consumer: How to Get the Global Piece Right

Consumer and digital marketers have so much to deliver that it often looks as if they’re trying to balance multiple spinning plates in the air. One of the trending initiatives that they must integrate into their strategies is the option of direct-to-consumer (DTC), in which their organizations revert to marketing, selling, and supporting individuals – rather than filtering them through third-party marketplaces such as Alibaba, Amazon, or Rakuten. This is a major shift for many medium- to large...
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Data to Predict Language ROI

Far too many companies rely on anecdotal data; rough measures based on GDP, and the number of people who speak languages, or even less precise guides such as executive gut feel or a knee-jerk reaction to loud or political feedback. These methods risk making ineffective decisions for language strategy, instead of using the linguistic portfolio to grow business, increase revenue, and make advances over the competition. Shifting to data for language ROI helps set up realistic expectations and goals...
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The Multilingual Conversation Challenge, Part 2: Logistical Challenges

In our last piece on this topic, we examined some of the technology challenges that stymy enterprises as they try to build conversation agents, such as chatbots, for multilingual audiences. Many developers express a pessimistic outlook about their ability to deliver them in multiple languages. One of the largest developers stated that it assigned the likelihood of success for these projects at less than 30%. In this installment, we discuss some of the business and conceptual difficulties that en...
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Translators and Interpreters: A Career or a Side Job?

CSA Research conducted a large-scale survey of over 7,300 translators and interpreters in all corners of the world. Our goal was to characterize the demographics, behaviors, attitudes, and challenges of translators and interpreters to understand the present reality − and likely future − for linguists. In this blog, we’ll explore some of their responses tied to earnings and career focus.
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