The pandemic has undoubtedly caused implications for many types of language service providers. In response, this has led to many changes in different aspects of LSPs by way of adaption. Hence, it is worth examining such impacts and responses in greater detail to understand the efforts made by the industry.
There have been many challenges for these businesses, some of which are outlined below.
Working in isolation
Regardless of the profession translators, interpreters and editors amongst many others are still human beings and merit social contact too. They have had to deal with the gloomy aspect of working in isolation in settings that are not designed for remote working. It can be more difficult to carry out tasks in this way.
Reduced workflow for some services
Every language service provider operates differently and unfortunately some types of translation and interpreting services may not be in as high demand as before. Fewer projects in specific domains have presented a bleak outlook for the future prospects of some services.
A high distribution of misinformation
The reoccurring content being requested for translation is COVID-19 related. In effect, professionals are faced with the added task of filtering misinformation. More time is spent deciphering the validity of source materials for translation and in effect less time is spent completing projects. This adds more to the linguist’s workload whilst trying to deliver services on time.
Nevertheless, the responses from industries have been exceptional and are therefore worth mentioning.
Adjustments to support work from home
Many translators who work for LSPs work remotely, with the exception of some who are on site for operational purposes. There is no need to commute to work each day because many language projects can be carried out at home with a reliable internet connection. In the case of interpretation, professionals are now carrying out their work remotely via specialised online platforms to help meet interpretation demands.
Frequent contact from LSPs to customers
Many are going above and beyond to reach out to larger audiences in addition to their existing clients via email, phone or video call. This regular contact has been effective for reassuring customers that services are still in operation. Not all of the content is inaccurate. In fact, most of it is important medical, scientific and governmental material that requires translation and interpretation. LSPs have seen a rapid increase in client requests for those subject fields. They have rapidly produced translations in many languages to help all individuals understand the guidance and follow it accordingly.
Language services offered at discounted rates
Certain businesses have provided their editing services at discounts of 10% and translation services with a discount of 25% for COVID-19 projects. Furthermore, others have established COVID-19 translation support programs. This gives organisations who are responding to the crisis access to translation databases and linguists. Thanks to this approach, it has helped meet customers’ specific needs, again proving to be a vital contribution during such an uncertain time.
Most service providers are ahead of the game since many professionals already work remotely. Moreover, these industries work predominately on specialised programs and software, further supporting the initiative to work from home. Regular team chats on video chat platforms have further enhanced the communication between staff working remotely and promoted a strong sense of teamwork.
By and large, the impacts of COVID-19 have not affected LSPs dramatically, but they have been altered to some degree. These professionals are doing everything they can to provide assistance during such a challenging time. It is evident that with the above adaptions in place, LSPs can ensure that business continuity prevails.