Reader Surveys: The Language Industry’s Favorite Social Network
On all social media platforms, including LinkedIn, facts share real estate with advertising disguised as information, opinions, ideology, doctrine, and some lies. Yet when it comes to language industry news, Slator readers place overall trust in their professional network peers as trusted sources of information — at least based on our latest poll, where an overwhelming 67% chose LinkedIn over other platforms.
No one would question the fact that open access on LinkedIn (“The Professional Community”, as its banner puts it) has led to strong collectives around localization, translation, interpretation, language teaching, etc. However, this access also left the door ajar for bad actors. Slator reported one such case involving fake interpreters in September 2021.
Fast forward a year and, this very week, the The US government is scrutinizing social media again on its many vulnerabilities. And Slator readers are much less likely to search for information outside of LinkedIn. Twitter only got 10.9% of the vote. YouTube was a little behind at 9.1%. All other platforms are marginally used as credible news sources and received a combined total of 12.7% of votes.
Internet democracy or omnichannel omnipresence?
It’s exciting to count independent linguists among the influencers – with real jobs, mind you – like Adrian Probst and Jan Rausch. The beauty of having a presence as a freelancer on any platform, be it your own Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube channel, is the opportunity to pass on valuable insights as you build your own brand. Or you might as well be on all channels. All the time.
Slator readers were split on the importance of having a strong online presence as a freelancer or boutique agency. It is not as essential for 32.4%, as it is very important for 39.2%. After all, to have “a strong online presence” you will still need to create real content, not just an online resume – which most have.
Perhaps the split here is also due to the fact that no boutique agency would be without an online presence. It would simply become invisible. Freelancers, on the other hand, can still be visible even if their profile only appears in professional directories or on LinkedIn.
Who will join the Sustainable Growth Club?
As Slator reported in August 2022, more LSPs than ever before made the latest Inc. 5000 list. The industry is diversifying. Companies are merging and transforming, adopting new technologies and ways of working across all verticals. All of this is propelling growth and investors are taking notice.
We asked readers to venture a forecast of the trend in LSP numbers over the next five years, and voters were split into three opinions. The majority, 37.2%, voted with optimism that the number will increase. The rest were evenly split at 31.4% each between things staying the same and numbers falling.
In-depth trend analysis may or may not mimic our readers’ view (see you five years from now!), but the 2021 M&A and financing numbers show optimism and opportunity. This is especially true for small and medium private enterprises.
Promoting access to essential languages in health care
Linguistic access to health care is first and foremost a legal issue. This is clear, at least, in the letter of the law in countries whose governments have enacted anti-discrimination legislation (eg Australia, Canada, the United States and Sweden).
Second, it is a question of research. Numerous studies have demonstrated that language access improves health care outcomes (eg, Mass General Brigham study, Otolaryngology Outpatient Clinic study); and how its absence worsens these results.
In practice, language access in health care is a work in progress, so we wanted to know what readers think of their government’s performance. We asked them if they thought their government was doing enough, and the answer that garnered the most votes was “No, not at all,” at 59.5%.
Only a small minority, 5.4%, think their government is definitely doing enough. Yet faith in the system is not completely absent. The answer “Yes, but there is room for improvement” obtained 35.1% of the votes.