Nick, one of our project coordinators, was making phone calls and sending out e-mails when he looked out the window and noticed it was dark outside. It was late and the office was empty. Nick was trying to find a qualified Fante translator and was not having much success. The few linguists for this language that we already had in our system were not available.
Our industry is not about languages or linguistics. That is painful for me to say because I have loved both my entire life. Our industry is actually about business. There is a demand, and we are the supply.
Many of the largest linguistic markets — regions or countries that require language services — will still drive a need for our expertise. However, the global economic turndown of the past few years has brought some unexpected changes to the market. The world now has a brand new list of emerging markets. Global business will soon have to work in some languages more often than it ever had to, and when these customers turn to you for that language support, will you be ready?
The fastest growing markets are not necessarily always desirable as new business opportunities. As of the writing of this article, the fastest growing economy for any single country is Qatar. It has a decent purchasing power parity (PPP) rating, number 55 in the world, but the population of the country is only two million. Almost all of them speak Arabic. The third fastest growing national economy by gross domestic product (GDP) is Mongolia. Mongolian is a language that most language service companies do not currently have large numbers of linguistic resources for, but with only three million inhabitants and a rather weak national PPP rating, number 135 in the world, global business is unlikely to rush into the Mongolian market anytime soon. . .