There are at least 140,200 legal entities registered globally with “translation and interpreting” as their main activity. But only about 1 in 85 makes it past USD 1 million mark. 1,073 of them are based in Europe, the US, and Canada. Becoming one of them takes some serious strategizing.
The industry is growing rapidly, with the estimated market size for language services (including translation, interpreting, media localization, and respective technology) now surpassing USD 50 billion. Not all of the volume is outsourced to commercial providers, landing the addressable market size at 60 percent of the total. Let us help you find your areas of highest potential.
This figure includes 78,000 language service provider employees across the US, Europe, and Canada alone and an estimated 250,000 full-time professional translators, interpreters, and subtitlers.
When you include core professionals, personnel on the buyer side, and the casual and part-time translators, the language industry includes more than a million people in its gravitational pull.
We have identified 531 distinct language services technology brands available commercially so far, and this number keeps growing every year. Together, their sales reach about USD 780 million a year, about 1.5 percent of the industry’s total revenue.
In 2018, the introduction of virtual remote interpreting (VRI) technologies was decreasing the barrier to entry for interpreting providers, which was effectively driving down market rates and eating into the demand for traditional onsite interpretation.
During this period, a medium-sized, privately owned interpreting and localization provider in the United States had been providing onsite interpreting services to a large local hospitals group on the East Coast. While also offering a full suite of language services, including VRI, this East Coast interpreting company had earned a strong reputation with their clients of providing superior service, specifically for onsite interpreting.
One of their largest and most loyal clients was experiencing pressure to cut costs on interpreting, and so they naturally started to look more towards virtual solutions. The client’s main stakeholder had been working with this trusted interpreting company for years and was adamantly against changing providers. However, he was under a lot of pressure from senior management to reduce costs. He either needed to offer onsite interpreting at the same rates as virtual remote interpreting, or he needed help justifying the additional cost of onsite interpretation to his senior management.
The stakeholder’s position was clear: “I want to work with you, and I understand you can’t reduce costs further, but I need your help convincing my boss. And I need it quick!”
The interpreting company realized that anything they said would potentially be seen as biased. After all, they had a lot to lose or gain from the outcome of this RFP. They needed to present third party research that would speak to their client’s executive team.
The CEO picked up the phone and called Tucker Johnson at Nimdzi Insights. Because they were an existing Nimdzi Partner, they had already been working closely together with Tucker and Nimdzi CEO, Renato Beninatto, and so the team was already familiar with the context of the situation. Nimdzi mobilized a team of researchers to deliver a series of reports on a topic that would clearly speak to the client’s senior management – costs.
This customized research was delivered in a week and outlined the actual costs associated with onsite and virtual interpreting for healthcare providers, showing how onsite interpreting, while more expensive upfront, significantly reduces readmission rates and length-of-stay for limited English proficiency (LEP) patients. This means lower costs for the healthcare provider in the long term.
Based on the independent research, the client stakeholder was able to make an authoritative case to his senior management to continue providing onsite interpretation. The interpreting company was awarded not only the onsite work, which they were already performing, but also all of the VRI work as well, accounting for 50% of their total revenue. Equally important, they were not forced to devalue their core service by reducing their rates.
24translate Holding, a successful language service provider headquartered in Germany with five offices in Europe and one in Canada, was one of the first LSPs to recognize that workflow processes were important to digitize. Founded in 1999, the company grew and developed its own proprietary systems including an ERP system, translation management system, XLIFF engine, and translation memory technology. At the time of its founding, 24translate was the only one of its kind to offer automatic online translation quote generation with a 24-hour turnaround time for deliveries.
But homegrown systems had both advantages when it came to customization and disadvantages when it came to keeping technology up to date. As new products were being developed, the company was seeking consulting on technology, competitors, and industry trends.
When launching 24|contenthub, a product which bridged 24translate’s customers, systems and systems of other LSPs, the company was lacking the necessary intelligence and market knowledge required to confidently make decisions on machine translation engine implementation. At the time, 24translate needed detailed information on:
Previously partnering with another research group, 24translate understood that their needs were not being fully met. With a Nimdzi partnership, 24translate was able to take advantage of Nimdzi Office hours, custom research, and translation and localization industry expertise.
Nimdzi provided insight on the state of the market and an analysis of suitable third-party MT providers. By analyzing 24translate’s goals, priorities, and clients, Nimdzi offered the key research necessary for 24translate to make a decision for the right provider that would meet the company’s specific needs.
Final words from 24transalte:
“Nimdzi is always part of our process when we’re exploring new projects. We drop one of their researchers or consultants an email, and they always come back with relevant, timely insights.”
Nimdzi continues to provide key insights which includes research in the field, benchmarking, and advising on working with the company’s tech stack.
One of 24translates’s current projects include providing machine translation and machine translation post editing solutions.
With Nimdzi’s efforts, 24translate aims to increase revenue by 30% over the next 3 years, starting with a 10% increase in 2020.