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COVID-19 Freelancer 3 Survey Data

In January 2021, CSA Research surveyed freelance linguists worldwide for the third time
to see how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected them as providers of language services.
These are the overall results from the 608 responses received from 69 countries in January 2021.


How has COVID-19 affected your business as of today?
The percentage of freelancers reporting decreases in income is slightly decreasing. It was 56% back in April last year, then 55% in August 2020, and now 52%.

  How has your revenue from freelance language services changed in 2020 compared to 2019?

As we have seen in all surveys, revenue from interpreting-related work remains the most affected. However, for all three categories we track, answers range from a near disappearance revenue from a category to double or triple the prior year's revenue, showing a broad spectrum of responses.




What has been your experience with demand for the following interpreting services?
As a natural result of social distancing and travel limitations, the growth of in-person modalities are seriously affected while remote modalities thrive.

 

What has been your experience with demand for the following translation services?
Machine translation post-editing has grown more steadily than human-centric translation even before the pandemic and still continues to do so.


 

How do you feel about the language services sector in 2021?
Optimism about the first half of the year is comparable to our August results (44% now versus 46% in August). However, data shows a little uptick for the second half of the year.


 

Thinking about the post-COVID-19 future, how likely are you to agree with the following statements?

Translators and interpreters have mixed feelings about the future and their linguist careers.