The year in review: 2022 in the language universe

The year in review: 2022 in the language universe

Some could say 2022 has been a year of turmoil, with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and a new war threatening Europe. However, it also brought many advancements and much-needed changes.

At Traductanet, we have summed up the progress of the year, such as the blooming of remote work and the cooperation between machine translation, post-editing and human translation in the language industry.

If you keep reading, you will also find out which three words seemed to define the year, along with their definitions.


Remote work bloomed

During the epidemic, some businesses adopted remote work rapidly; others did so slowly and hesitantly. Future businesses will probably continue to use remote work as a crucial tool to ensure business continuity and work/private life reconciliation, so it seems it is here to stay.

According to Wiserd, 65.5% of UK employees reported that they were able to produce much more per hour while working at home in lockdown and that they wanted to work mainly at home in the future.

Even after the pandemic, employers have discovered that long-term remote work is a good option for their staff and company. This is due to its favourable effects on worker productivity, decreased costs, and advantageous effects on the environment.

In comparison to the five years prior to COVID-19, it is anticipated that there will be roughly twice as many remote workers: an Upwork Study found that around 22% of the American workforce will be remote by 2025, which corresponds to 36.2 million people!


Words of the year – Oxford, Collins and Merriam-Webster

Goblin mode

The public was given the opportunity to select Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year for the first time ever. More than 340,000 people took part, with 93% of the votes going to “goblin mode”.

According to Ben Zimmer, American linguist and lexicographer, “Goblin Mode really does speak to the times and the zeitgeist, and it is certainly a 2022 expression.”

When COVID lockdown rules loosened in several nations and individuals began leaving their homes more frequently, the expression gained prominence.

It seemed to represent the general attitude of those who rebelled against the notion of going back to “regular life”, adhering to the “new normal” or following the unrealistic aesthetic standards and unsustainable lifestyles promoted on social media.


Even though we are just two years into the 2020s, there has already been plenty of turmoil. We have dealt with a pandemic and its consequences, such as the subsequent economic recession, as well as a horrific new war in Europe between Russia and Ukraine.

It naturally seems fitting that Collins Dictionary’s Word of the Year is “permacrisis”, which it defines as “an extended period of instability and insecurity”.

It is one of six new terms that have been added to and the top word in the annual collection of the 10 new or noteworthy words from the 18 billion words in the database that Collins monitors, as well as from other sources like social media.


In 2022, Merriam-Webster found a startling 1,740 percent rise in searches for “gaslighting” in its online dictionary.

With this striking figure, the dictionary has designated “gaslighting” its official word of the year.

It defines the term as the “psychological manipulation of a person usually over an extended period of time that causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories and typically leads to confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, uncertainty of one’s emotional or mental stability, and a dependency on the perpetrator”.

The expression has its origin in a 1938 play and the 1944 American film Gaslight based on it, in which a husband uses trickery to convince his wife that she is mentally unwell so he can steal from her – he brightens and dims gas powered lights, then insists that she is hallucinating.


Cooperation between machine translation, post-editing and human translation

In this past year, these three approaches have found a balance in the industry, and this is set to continue in 2023, as they come with great benefits for everyone involved.

Gartner anticipates that the work of human translators will be 75% linked to MTPE (machine translation post-editing) by 2025, while the European Commission claims that 78% of Language Service Providers (LSPs) have already started to shift their work to this field.

Human translators generally resort to computer-assisted translation software to control elements such as terminological consistency, quality and grammar, and it represents a reliable and accurate option, especially for creative content and technical documents.

Post-editing is a hybrid between machine translation and human translation in which the linguist receives a machine-translated text, which is then proofread and corrected as necessary. Machine translation stands for work produced 100% by a translation engine.

This cooperation enables translation companies to handle large volumes of content at an amazing speed, accelerate turnaround time, achieve greater accuracy and improve efficiency, all while partnering with specialised translators and linguists who ensure the quality of the work delivered.


Did you like reading about the highlights of 2023 as regards the translation industry? If you are in need of a specialised provider who translates to and from all languages, do not hesitate to contact us and ask for a quote!

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