Danish adults might be the best non-native speakers of English in the world – according to a report released by Education First (EF) late last year – but Danish companies are demanding more translators than ever.
New figures from US-based online staffing platform giant Elance-oDesk reveal that Danish companies used a record number of translators last year – 63 percent more than in 2013.
”With improved technology, it's easier for companies to trade with customers and distributors across the planet,” Steffen Hedebrandt, the Nordic manager for Elance-oDesk, said.
”Naturally, that leads to greater needs – and thus demand – in terms of languages the companies must be able to cater to. At the same time, it makes it much easier to hire freelancers in Beijing or Barcelona from a computer in Ballerup in order to overcome these language barriers.”
In 2014, Elance-oDesk helped over 2.8 million freelancers find work worldwide. Translators make up 7 percent of the freelance market in Denmark.
Translating into savings
One of the many beneficiaries of the blossoming Danish freelance market is the successful start-up ChurchDesk, which has been praised for its innovative development of an IT work-platform for churches.
”It's too circumstantial for modern and globally-orientated companies to hire people full-time to translate and too expensive to use the bigger bureaus," Christian Steffensen, the founder and head of ChurchDesk, said.
”So now that the entire world is online, it's become obvious that you can contact the translators directly and cut away the middle-man – and we are benefiting greatly from that.”
Denmark ranks 20th in the world when it comes to using freelancers, while the US, India and eastern Europe are the major suppliers.