10 fun facts about translation

30/09/2019 | Rebecca Twose

Did you know that there are over 7,000 languages in existence around the world? So it’s no surprise that the translation services industry continues to grow at a rapid rate.

But why stop at 1 fact? We thought we’d give you a better insight into the translation & language services industry by sharing some fun facts about translation…

St Jerome Christian Translator

International Translation Day

International Translation Day is celebrated annually on the 30th of September and is also a feast day for St. Jerome who is a translator from Christian history. He translated the Old Testament into Latin directly from the original Hebrew. The 30th of September marks the day of his death.

Top dogs of the Translation industry

The top dogs

The most targeted languages for translation are English, French, German, Italian and Russian making them the top dogs of languages in the translation industry.

Book translation

‘What about me?’

During the first decade of the 21st century, over 75% of books between the years 2000 and 2010 were translated into French or German, and just 5% into Chinese which is surprising because Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world!

Fast typist

Speedy Gonzalez

A professional translator can translate around 250 words within an hour. A translator working full time can translate around 520,000 words per year, wow!

Learning languages

Lots to learn!

The most widely spoken languages are Chinese, Spanish, English, and Hindi, in that order.

As old as the hills

As old as the hills

The translation profession is more than 2,000 years old! That’s right: the Old Testament is thought to have been translated into Greek in the 3rd century BC, which would make it the oldest recorded translation.


Most translated authors

The top 3 most translated authors are Agatha Christie, Jules Verne and William Shakespeare.

Translator town

Translator town

According to the recent survey, there are more than 300,000 certified translators. That is enough to fill a whole town of people.

Translation industry growth

Billion-dollar baby

Last year’s estimates put the translation industry’s annual revenue at $40 billion worldwide, and it’s continuing to grow fast which matches the prediction of a 42% growth rate between 2010 and 2019.


The easiest language to translate

There is a language that is far easier than English to translate. According to most translators with years of experience, Spanish is the easiest language to translate to or into. It is because, in the Spanish language, words written are identical to the way they sound, which makes it the most accessible language to learn and translate.

Translation facts

If you have any more interesting facts to share about translation then feel free to share them with us!

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