Report by Sarah Hickey.
Nimdzi conducted this research project in cooperation with Translated in Argentina (TINA) and the Argentine Association of Language Services (AASL). The goal was to provide an overview of the language service provider (LSP) market in Argentina in 2019.
Argentina is a unique market within the language services industry. It is the preferred market for outsourcing and one of the largest employers of talent.
Large international players, such as RWS Moravia with 410 employees in Rosario and TransPerfect in Buenos Aires, and even smaller players like Globalization Partners, NetWire, and Korn employ hundreds of people across Argentina. In addition, LSPs of all sizes and from all corners of the industry have partnerships with local vendors. It's no surprise that in our survey, participants reported that the majority of their clients are other translation companies. The biggest player in the market is literally called Translation Back Office.
There are 20 countries and two territories in the world where Spanish is the official or de-facto language. Among these, Argentina is the country with the fourth largest population, after Mexico, Colombia, and Spain. In addition, the country’s GDP is the third largest in Latin America, after Brazil and Mexico.
After the economic crisis in the 1990s and the devaluation of the Argentinian Peso in 2001, Argentina became the go-to market for Latin American versions of Spanish within the language services industry, surpassing Mexico in this regard. Since then, Multi-Language Vendors (MLVs) from across the globe use Argentina as a human resources center for language professionals. As education standards in Argentina are high, the country produces great linguists, project managers, engineers, DTPers, and other professionals. In order to become a sworn translator, linguists must have a degree in translation and be accepted by one of the different national translator boards, known as Colegios de Traductores.
As in-country taxation laws are strict and companies are mindful of the information they share, this study aims to provide a glimpse into this unique market.
Our data show that the most dominant services provided by Argentinian LSPs are translation (28.6%), DTP (10.7%), localization (10.7%), interpreting (8.9%), transcreation (5.4%), training courses (5.4%), and other related services (5.4%).
The data further show that nearly one-third (31.8%) of revenues generated by Argentinian LSPs comes from services for other translations companies. In addition, 18.5% of revenues are derived from Life Sciences, 11.0% from Finance, Business & Legal, 6.9% from Education and E-learning, 5.9% from IT, 4.8% from the Healthcare sector, 4.7% from Technical, and 4.6% from Gaming, Media and Entertainment.
The table below shows the Argentinian LSPs who participated in this study, ranked by their 2019 revenues.
|Rank||Company||2019 Revenue (USD)||Core business|
|1||Translation Back Office||5,200,000||translation, business, life sciences|
|2||Terra Translations||2,597,576||translation, localization, life sciences, video games and entertainment|
|3||Win & Winnow||2,030,100||translation, life sciences, technical, healthcare|
|4||Latinlingua||1,572,000||translation, website localization|
|5||Baquero Translations||1,260,000||translation, life sciences, healthcare|
|6||Arcadia Translations||1,227,358||translation, legal & finance|
|7||Idea Translations||1,100,000||translation, e-learning, life sciences|
|9||delsurtranslations||770,000||translation, editing, proofreading|
|10||The Typesetter||590,000||translation, DTP|
|11||Mendoza Translations SRL||580,000||translation, editing, life sciences, IT|
|12||Hispano Language Advisory||552,952||translation, media localization|
|13||Rosario Traducciones y Servicios S.A.||470,000||translation, technical|
|14||Essence Translations||340,000||translation, life sciences|
The average growth rate for Argentinian LSPs in 2019 was 20.3%. The below table ranks the LSPs in our study by fastest growth in 2019.
|Rank||Company||2018 Revenue (USD)||2019 Revenue (USD)||Growth%|
|6||Hispano Language Advisory||435,872||552,952||26.86%|
|7||Translation Back Office||4,200,000||5,200,000||23.81%|
|9||Rosario Traducciones y Servicios S.A.||420,000||470,000||11.90%|
|13||Win & Winnow||1,920,000||2,030,100||5.73%|
|14||Mendoza Translations SRL||550,000||580,000||5.45%|
When an organization measures its productivity, it is basically assessing the business efficiency in terms of allocated resources. One simple way to measure it is to divide the revenue of the company the number of full-time employees. Looking at the productivity of the Argentinian LSPs in our report, the average revenue per employee in 2019 was USD 62,300. Company size does not appear to play a significant role in relation to productivity.
|Rank||Company||Productivity (USD per employee)||2019 Revenue (USD)|
|2||Win & Winnow||81,204||2,030,100|
|5||Rosario Traducciones y Servicios S.A.||58,750||470,000|
|6||Mendoza Translations SRL||58,000||580,000|
|11||Translation Back Office||46,429||5,200,000|
|13||Hispano Language Advisory||36,863||552,952|
We asked survey respondents to indicate the percentage of their revenue derived from customers based in different parts of the world. The results show that 67.8% of revenues in the industry derive from customers based in North America. This is followed by 20.0% of customers in Europe. Only very little revenue is generated by customers based in South America (7.8%) and Asia (3.7%). The smallest amount of revenue comes from Africa (0.5%) and Australia (0.2%).
We asked survey respondents to report the most important changes with their companies in 2019 and the results show that hiring, restructuring, and consulting was on everyone’s plate.
Argentinian companies were scaling up and onboarded more employees in 2019, particularly Project Managers, Operation Managers, and Marketing Teams. LSPs also hired consulting firms, including Nimdzi Insights, to help them grow.
In addition, the companies in this report focused on Neural Machine Translation, post-editing, and improving multilingual website translation processes.
We also asked survey respondents what they see as the biggest challenges for 2020. Below is an overview of the themes that stood out:
A number of the challenges named by Argentinian LSPs are in line with challenges reported by LSPs in The Nimdzi 100, the annual global market study conducted by Nimdzi Insights. As with the Argentinian companies in this study, LSPs around the globe are trying to scale up in response to increasing content volumes. Talent acquisition and technology adoption are key factors in this regard.
Technology adoption as well as a rise in new content types, such as video, have also led to changing roles in the translation market. Translators increasingly work as post-editors and LSPs worldwide need to adjust their service offerings to the landscape, for example by including subtitling.
Location matters. When it comes to making the decision of where to open a local office, a number of factors are at play. Arguably the most important ones are the cost and the local talent pool. With this in mind, the biggest in-country market is not always the most lucrative one, because cost tends to be high and the market over-crowded with competitors. The second largest city often offers more advantages as it is still a viable market but less crowded, with lower cost and better access to good talent.
One-third of the population in Argentina lives in the capital, Buenos Aires. However, more than half of the largest LSPs in our ranking have offices in other cities, particularly Córdoba and Rosario, which are competing for the title of the second-largest city. Córdoba currently is the second-largest city with close to 1.4 million inhabitants but Rosario is not far behind with a population of 1.2 million. Both locations offer good opportunities for translation companies, as they provide access to highly educated local talent thanks to the existence of highly regarded universities in the cities. Córdoba has six universities with approximately 105,000 students, Rosario has two main universities and a number of colleges with about 80,000 students in total.
Our tables above rank the largest LSPs in Argentina who participated in our study. However, as the language services market in Argentina consists of many small to medium sized players, we dug deeper and identified a further 73 LSPs on the market that should not be missed. The map and infographic below show the concentration of all 87 LSPs we identified in this report, by province.
TINA was founded as the first association for the translation industry in Argentina and Latin America. Its aim is to form a true network of all the industry players.
TINA is a civil association that brings together professionals, companies, and academic institutions from the translation industry and related areas, who are Argentinian residents, work with Argentina, or who are based in or have branches in the country. TINA’s goal is to position Argentina as a hub for productivity and export for language and related services.
Its purpose is to link all players in the sector through promotion, training, awareness-raising and other tasks, in order to prioritize the profession and consolidate the sector within the country's productive scheme.
The Argentine Association of Linguistic Services (AASL) was founded in 2017 with the aim of representing Argentine companies that are part of the translation industry and related activities, both locally, regionally, and internationally.
Its goal is to represent the challenges of translation, interpretation, and language companies in Argentina and abroad, to promote job creation, and to establish a dialogue with government entities.
AASL further aims to provide networking opportunities, create benchmarking and mentoring spaces in different parts of the country, and contribute to the training of translators and related professionals.
Continuous growth and fragmentation have been the key characteristics of the language services market. Let's see what the data says.
The Nimdzi 100 is one of our flagship publications. It includes a ranking of the top 100 LSPs by revenue, a watchlist of large players that don’t disclose their revenues, and a detailed overview of the size and state of the language services industry. The Nimdzi 100 is widely considered an industry standard and is read by tens of thousands of people in the translation and localization space and beyond. LSPs, localization buyers, investors, savvy job seekers, and analysts will benefit from this free resource.
The Nimdzi 100 is our flagship piece of content. It includes a ranking of the top 100 LSPs by revenue, a watchlist of large players that don’t disclose their revenues, and a detailed overview of the size and state of the language services industry. The Nimdzi 100 is widely considered an industry standard and is read by tens of thousands of people in the translation and localization space and beyond. LSPs, localization buyers, investors, savvy job seekers, and analysts will benefit from this free resource.
We recently introduced you to the two- (or five-) second rule, which is essentially the reaction or decision-making time a linguist should spend judging whether to post-edit a segment of machine translation (MT) output or to retranslate it. This rule of thumb aims to help increase the linguist’s productivity when working with MT.