Article co-written by Sarah Hickey and Rosemary Hynes.
There’s no point having data if it’s not up to date! That’s why we are publishing the latest version of our graph that shows the market split between onsite and remote interpreting services (first published in the 2021 Nimdzi Interpreting Index). We wanted to see if what we predicted in September 2021 regarding the market split in the post-pandemic world actually panned out. The results now show that according to our latest research, our prediction largely holds up, with only minor variations. For instance, we estimate that the percentage of over-the-phone interpreting (OPI) decreased ever so slightly (by 2%) and was absorbed into video remote interpreting (VRI) and RSI instead.
More noticeably, for the first time, we have added the percentage of the market occupied by hybrid meetings into the graphic. In the September 2021 version, we already mentioned hybrid meetings and estimated that in the years to come they would occupy between 10% and 20% of the market. We can now confirm that this estimate is on track and currently stands at 12%. In our graphic, the percentage for hybrid meetings overlaps with both the percentages for onsite and RSI services, as hybrid meetings typically involve a mix of both. We can expect that the market share of hybrid meetings will continue to grow going forward.
It is worth stressing that this graph only takes into account human-facilitated interpreting and does not include the share of machine interpreting (MI). With the gain in MI, it will most likely be represented in the future market estimations. As it stands though, the MI percentage is still too low to be visualized here.
The share of onsite interpreting is not the 80% it was, but is still a reasonable 51% (including the crossover of hybrid meetings). Remote interpreting is steadily gaining ground and we can expect this share of the market to continue to advance significantly, particularly in telehealth. However, we can note that a certain equilibrium has been achieved at this point in time in the remote versus onsite shares compared to the dramatic imbalance at the height of the pandemic.
The language services industry is a diverse space by its very nature as its primary purpose is to connect people from a vast number of language and cultural backgrounds. Communication is at the core of all human interactions and where there is a need for communication, there is a need for language services.
Remote interpreting solutions have been both in development and in use for a long time now. However, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, uptake was slow. The onset of the pandemic changed this drastically, and, ever since, it seems that the growth, innovation, and investment in this field has been unstoppable. Once considered an afterthought or sub-par alternative to onsite services, remote interpreting has stepped out of the shadows to become the key to continuity of business and care in many industries.
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If you follow Nimdzi Insights then you know that we like to create rankings. Why, you ask? The answer’s simple. We — along with our clients and industry peers — like to know who the top players are in any given field or area. We look at the global market for language services as a whole, as well as in-country markets and leaders in specific industry verticals and services.