Market for Outsourced Translation and Interpreting Services and Technology to Surpass US$40 Billion in 2016

Common Sense Advisory's annual study of the language industry shows growth continues due to global mobile, ecommerce, the internet of things, and legislation

Language Services Industry: 2016

​The global market for outsourced language services and technology will reach US$40.27 billion in 2016, according to a study by independent market research firm Common Sense Advisory (CSA Research). In its 12th annual global industry report, “The Language Services Market: 2016,” the firm details the findings of its comprehensive study.

CSA Research found that the demand for language services and supporting technologies continues and is growing at an annual rate of 5.52%. As part of the study, the firm surveyed providers from every continent to collect actual reported revenue for 2014, 2015, and expected revenue for 2016. The study confirms that the market continues to expand, however the current growth rate of 5.52% represents a slight decrease over last year’s rate of 6.46%.

Demand continues because the market for outsourced language services and supporting technology is immensely important to the businesses, government agencies, non-profits, and individuals that produce or consume information.

Don DePalma, Chief Strategy Officer, CSA Research

“Because the language industry serves a wide variety of constituencies around the globe, it is exposed to a broad array of macroeconomic forces. One in particular directly affects the size of the market – currency. The U.S. dollar continues a multi-year appreciation against most currencies,” explains Don DePalma, CSA Research’s founder and Chief Strategy Officer. “However, language service providers in most regions of the world did report steady growth during 2015.”

As organizations both large and small address more languages, the firm predicts that the language services industry will continue to grow and that the market will increase to US$45 billion by 2020. Factors driving this demand include continued growth in global mobile and ecommerce; the internet of things (IOT); and legislation requiring access to language services for immigrants, refugees, in the courts, and for public safety.

“Demand continues because the market for outsourced language services and supporting technology is immensely important to the businesses, government agencies, non-profits, and individuals that produce or consume information,” adds DePalma.

Included in “Language Services Market: 2016” are the largest language providers globally, as well as by region. The five highest-ranked companies on the list of the largest 100 commercially-focused language services companies, listed according to 2015 revenues, are: Lionbridge Technologies (US), TransPerfect (US), HPE ACG (FR), LanguageLine (US), and SDL (UK).

Additional tables and charts within the report include:

·    Current market size estimates for the language services industry along with a detailed description of the research methodology

·      Projected growth rates for the industry through 2020, including region-specific breakdowns

·      Rankings and revenues of the largest 100 language services companies

·      Critical benchmarks for LSP financial performance, including average revenue per employee and average revenue per salesperson

·      Regional rankings of the largest translation and interpreting companies in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Oceania, North America, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, and Western Europe

·      Reporting on the fastest-growing services in the industry, such as translation, software localization, and on-site interpreting

·      Breakdown of the market with estimates by service for on-site interpreting, translation technology, machine translation post-editing, video remote interpreting, mobile and game localization, and other services

·      Breakdown of the market for technology sold by LSPs and technology providers with estimates for translation management, translation memory, terminology, machine translation, interpreting management, and other software

The full report is available as part of the firm’s research membership. View the report’s table of contents here.

About Common Sense Advisory

Common Sense Advisory is an independent market research company helping companies profitably grow their international businesses and gain access to new markets and new customers. Its focus is on assisting its clients to operationalize, benchmark, optimize, and innovate industry best practices in translation, localization, interpreting, globalization, and internationalization. For more information, visit: or

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Media contact: Melissa C. Gillespie,, +1 760-522-4362

Source: Common Sense Advisory (CSA Research)