Uniting Against a Pandemic: Translation Services Join the World in the Fight Against COVID-19

Translation Service

As the world continues its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, translation services are playing a critical role in helping to disseminate valuable information across the globe. One example of this help is Ulatus offering our services at no cost to COVID-19 researchers, so they can share and distribute their findings in a multitude of languages. Additionally, language services providers (LSPs) are working to ensure they can keep up with the changing demands of the industry as the pandemic continues and after it slows down.

How COVID-19 Has Affected the Translation Services Industry

Like most industries, translation services have experienced many challenges throughout this pandemic, causing LSPs to shift their focus. According to a recent survey, 66% of LSPs have experienced a decrease in business as a result of the outbreak. Another survey indicates that smaller LSPs are facing difficult financial times, but only 12% of the companies surveyed planned to lay off employees. Freelancers in the industry are also among the hardest hit.

Overall, the coronavirus outbreak is anticipated to cause an 8% decrease in the languages services market through the end of 2020.

Translation Services in a Time of Need

Whether companies have been impacted or not, the industry is focusing on helping the public during these difficult times. The reality is that the pandemic – something the entire world is dealing with together – shines an illuminating light on how much translation services are needed during crises. In fact, reputable COVID information has been translated into more than 500 languages, demonstrating the need for multilingual information dissemination. These translation projects have ranged from fact sheets from the World Health Organization (WHO) to more than 400 videos that were translated into at least 150 languages.

Perhaps even more clear is the need for human translators, instead of organizations relying solely on machine translation. Especially during challenging times, people want accurate information in their native language, so they can understand what is happening; this is a critical role of human translators, who can put context around the communications being distributed.

A Shift in Translation Needs

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, one of the biggest shifts for the language services industry has been in the types of translations that are needed. As an example, translations for the travel and hospitality industry have decreased since such companies are not marketing to customers as much during this time. However, there is a high demand for other types of translations, including:

  • Medical Translation – During the pandemic, one of the most important translation needs is medical translation. With so much information being circulated, there is a demand for translation of medical research, articles, and publications, along with general medical information and updates about the virus.
  • E-Commerce and Marketing Translation – Since people have been in quarantine, many businesses are focusing their efforts on reaching out to customers online. Targeted marketing campaigns and e-commerce solutions are vital to a company’s survival right now. As a result, translations of advertisements and product materials are necessary.
  • Document Translation – In general, translation of several kinds of documents in many languages is important. Currently, there is a high demand for translations of announcements from WHO, governmental bulletins and advisories, and various business agreements and contracts.
  • E-Learning – When people across the globe had to go into quarantine, e-learning became a key part of the lives of countless students. As such, the need for translation services in this area increased.

The Future of the Industry

While the translation services industry is expected to be at the forefront of the post-pandemic landscape, many changes will also take place. Some of these anticipated modifications within the industry are:

  • Similar to many types of companies, LSPs will increase their use of virtual meetings with employees, vendors, and clients.
  • Many employees of LSPs will continue to work remotely.
  • There will be a decrease in travel to visit clients, as well as to attend conferences.
  • LSPs will revise their sales and marketing activities to accommodate the changes in the market.
  • Translation companies will focus on being prepared to assist with large, remote, multilingual events.

As the pandemic continues, many countries are in different stages of reopening. To help people prepare for any phase their region is in, Ulatus is available and ready to assist with translation needs.


As people across the globe continue to fight against COVID-19, translation services are playing a vital role in disseminating critical information to the public. As part of this effort, Ulatus is offering our services at no cost to COVID-19 researchers, so they can share their findings worldwide.

Share your thoughts