Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Australia, the world has been a different place. Thousands of people have been displaced, and uncertainty over the future has set in. The WHO has declared COVID-19 a global pandemic that will last until March 11, 2020. It has forced businesses to adapt to new working conditions. Many people are now able to work from home or from their local office, which is an advantage but also has disadvantages.

The UN has been a proponent of multilingualism for years, and simultaneous interpretation and translation are integral to deliberations at its General Assembly. During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, on-site activities at UN Headquarters were curtailed. However, translation services continued their role as guarantors of multilingualism, transitioning from traditional on-site work to remote working.

A global survey of translators conducted by the CSA research institute shows the same trends across the translating community. The survey included 1,174 responses from 97 countries. The results show the same trends – reduced income, reduced workload, and few requests for lower rates. Meanwhile, 65% of respondents said COVID-19 has changed the market temporarily, 25% said it permanently, and 10% believe it has had no impact. Nevertheless, a new global demand for translation services is expected to increase as more governments move to digital standards.

The impact of the COVID-19 has impacted the entire translation industry. However, the translating profession has been the hardest hit, with income dropping by approximately 24% and employment reducing by 8%. As a result, the future of the translating industry is uncertain, and the challenges are greater than ever. Despite the challenges, it is vital to remember that there are still many opportunities to make money.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the translation industry. Although it has led to a decrease in on-site activities at the UN Headquarters, the language service industry has adapted quickly to the new environment. It has also introduced a new digital culture, where many of the languages in use are being translated into their native languages. Consequently, the change in the industry has affected the translation industry and the working environment.

Despite the impact of COVID-19 on the translation industry, there are some positive developments. As a result of COVID-19, the UN’s DGACM has already moved many of its strategic activities into a more remote environment. The UN has also launched the first phase of its sixth fully remote online competitive examination. The Documentation Division has also launched a self-paced online training platform, which has 500 learning activities for colleagues.


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