The next great quantum leap in translation will most surely take place in the Arabic-speaking world. Throughout history religious upheaval, military conquest and foreign domination have often had immense implications on the linguistic point world.
When the nations of Europe began to feel the need to express themselves, it was only when the Christian religion caved in and allowed the use of the vernacular that these national identities (together with their languages) really took off allowing for a veritable blossoming of literature written in the vernacular as well as a new flourishing of translation.
The liberalisation of religious shackles in Judaism had an analogous effect on Ashkenazi Jewry allowing for the flowering of Yiddish, in much the same way that Luther and the Reformation affected the languages of Christendom.
Similarly, the future of translation in North Africa and the Near East and many other countries (that use Arabic) may be dependent on a similar liberalising movement. It is difficult envisaging such a movement in Islam due to the important position Arabic holds in the religion of Muḥammad, but should such a change occur, the repurcussions will be huge.
If and when the nations under Islam get the urge to begin translating the Qur’ān into their own varieties of Arabic (be they dialects or languages) we will most certainly see a linguistic explosion the like of which we have not seen for a long time.
There are over twenty known, widely spoken varieties of Arabic including Maghrebi, Egyptian, Sudanese, Iraqi, Hijazi, Chadian, Nigerian and Judeo-Arabic to name just a few. The question really is not if but more when, how and where the language explosion will take place. The effects of this Arabic linguistic renaissance will most certainly rock the world.