top of page

The WIT Lockdown Lowdown

Throughout the last year, when we weren’t clapping for our carers, learning a new language, or rearranging our entire homes, there were plenty more happy constants reflected in just some of the translation projects here at Words in Translation. It’s only when you start to look back at the bigger picture that you can truly notice the pandemic patterns. Perhaps you can relate to a few of them…


Stuck indoors or just can’t face another walk around your local park? Our entertainment clients have been a stream come true. From gaming with Ubisoft to series and films on STARZPLAY, in 2020 we were flicking through entertainment translations like never before – and so were you! Streaming giant Netflix gained 16 million more signups during lockdown (who can forget the Tiger King era of the pandemic?) and at the pandemic’s peak, adults spent 40% of their day glued to the small screen. Even many older demographics, equipped with their newfound skills in video-calling, shunned former daytime favourites in favour of streaming (I can’t say we blame them).

A little later in the year, we went ‘behind the scenes’ with Disney+. This much-anticipated streaming service, which launched on the first day of the UK’s lockdown, attracted 16% of online adults by early July to become 'the third most-popular subscription streaming service behind Netflix (45%) and Amazon Prime Video (39%).' And it appears they won’t be stopping there… We worked on translating a user survey in four languages to gather market insights on the fictional worlds you’ve been diving (back) into through audiobooks, podcasts and more. Watch this space...

Locktail hour

Whether you’ve been reaching for the furlough merlot or popping some social bubbles when the kids (finally) went back to school, alcoholic beverages have unsurprisingly been a spirited trend. In fact, recent studies show that, while our beloved pubs were shut, the UK saw a 20% increase in “off-trade” sales of alcohol in supermarkets. That’s an extra half a billion litres of booze entering our homes! Even Corona beer lost none of its appeal, with sales increasing 40%. Another interesting study showed not only an increase in the quantity of alcohol being consumed from home, but a change in drink type, with many Brits developing a penchant for Argentinian wine (maybe down to those Spanish lessons?) and “ready to drink” tinnies in the park. This was certainly reflected in transcreation; while the world was shaken by current affairs, we devoted much of 2021 to stirring up Chivas Brothers cocktail recipes, with Bacardi rum and Martini treats! It's a hard job, but somebody's got to do it.

Home office casual

Who could forget the remote meeting? Do they call it Zoom because that’s exactly what it does to your pores/facial features? While, on the one hand, many enjoyed the freedom of not having to wear a bra, others boldly continued to make an effort in a bid to maintain some routine (and decorum). Whatever your home office style, our makeup translations for Armani beauty, Shiseido and NUXE had (at least your top half) covered, taking smart casual to a new level, with the split coming in juuuust around the waist. Pair this with an onslaught of Zoom makeup tutorials, specifically designed for the camera and specifically advised against in the cold light of day (no, seriously) and you have hours of fun.

The happy ending is in sight

Last but not least, whether you were hopping on the lockdown baby boom, fumbling through that awkward Skype date or simply enjoying a lot more time with your partner, love was most certainly in the air (and our inboxes). In one of the most unexpected twists of the pandemic, we personified a penis with a little help from our pleasure-positive client, SKYN.

What have you been up to throughout the pandemic? Has it given you the chance to relax and take on a new hobby? Or have you been busier than ever?


Written by Amy Reid, WIT Account Manager


bottom of page