The language service and technology industry is estimated to be worth a whopping US$54 billion. And due to the growing content economy, this market is set to steadily rise. The need for global connectivity means that LSPs will remain in high demand, and the top translation companies will continually strive to secure the largest slice of the pie.
The research from CSA Research’s Global Market Study breaks down the biggest players in the field, providing a list of the world’s largest translation companies in 2021 with the goal to provide “invaluable industry data about service distributions, technology adoption patterns and industry trends.”
This is the 17th consecutive study completed by CSA Research assessing the impact of outsourced language services and technology. Let’s dig deeper into the top 10 translation companies and pinpoint exactly what it is that makes them stand out in a fiercely competitive industry.
1) RWS Holdings
Since acquiring SDL in 2020, RWS has officially become the world’s biggest company providing translation, localization, intellectual property support solutions, and life sciences language services. With specialist divisions assigned to unique administrative processes, RWS focuses on the client and customer support. The company is largely acknowledged as the global leader in translations and linguistic solutions for the life sciences industry, with 60 years of experience in a range of therapeutic areas, regulatory affairs, medical device documentation, and e-learning and training programs. With translation and interpretation services in more than 150 languages, RWS is perfectly placed to deliver localized content quickly and efficiently.
While it has lost its champion’s belt, TransPerfect is still one of the biggest language service providers in 2021 — an admirable feat for a company aiming to keep a family feel at the heart of their large scale operations. With 90+ offices worldwide and 25 years in the localization industry, TransPerfect’s rise to the top has not come overnight. They have honed their high-quality translation skills by completing over 300,000 language projects, and they claim to translate more than 7 million words a day. With an impressive client list spanning a variety of sectors, it will take some effort to topple TransPerfect from CSA Research’s number 1 spot.
Lionbridge’s claim of translating more content than any other provider in the world is impressive, and it’s the quality of their translation services that have seen them reach the pedestal in the list of top language service providers. Lionbridge specializes in a wide variety of content, from written text, voice, audio, video, to structured and unstructured data. Their vast network of experts makes them a force to be reckoned with in the translation and interpretation sector.
4) LanguageLine Solutions
With over 20 years of experience in the language services industry, in terms of sheer size and scale, LanguageLine is the top dog of certified translation. Boasting nearly twice as many full-time employees as their next biggest rival, LanguageLine Solutions operate out of 364 offices neatly spread across the globe. They offer translation and interpretation services to healthcare institutions, government departments, and multinational businesses. With a strong focus on customer support and dedicated project managers, LanguageLine should hope to expand even further throughout all areas of the translation enterprise.
5) Keywords Studios
Up fom the 7th spot in 2020, Keywords Studios place a strong emphasis on interaction, a vision that is evident from simply landing on the homepage of their website. Keywords Studios support game developers and publishers worldwide and have been around since the very earliest localized games. Leading with a creative specialism, their unique approach and market position makes them global pioneers in their field. High-quality localization is delivered by a team of native multilingual experts who focus on culturally sensitive and carefully considered content.
Appen specializes in developing training data for various ML and AI applications, one of which is machine translation, ranging from product descriptions and user reviews to speech interfaces. Placing their belief in data as the key to achieving the most effective machine translation, Appen customizes engines to suit individual specifications and designs tailored databases to make the translation process more accurate and efficient.
7) translate plus
A relative minnow compared to some of the much larger companies offering language services, translate plus has experienced tremendous growth in the last few years, placing it firmly in the CSA global top 10. Working hard to provide the client with tailor-made translation packages, translate plus are an independent language service provider, which means they are not limited by the constraints of a specific technology, and can choose the best fit for each project.
Up by a dozen positions since last year, Acolad places an emphasis on its “multi-local” approach. With over 25 years of experience in the language services industry, Acolad has a strong, dedicated customer service team and more than 2000 professional linguists working for them. Having started as a family business, it has expanded into a global leading language services provider while still keeping its famous local and regional culture and expertise.
9) Hogarth Worldwide
Hogarth position themselves as a creative production company, specializing in advertising and marketing content for a global audience. Hogarth’s ethos puts language at the heart of every process, recognizing the need for skilled copywriting in each language. They adapt content for different cultures, understanding that the quality of an original idea is only as good as its execution in the target market.
As its name suggests, Welocalize offers multilingual solutions to allow international companies to communicate globally. Recognizing the impact that digital transformation is having on the industry as a whole, Welocalize attempts to drive enterprises towards managing multilingual content as a means of obtaining a competitive advantage.
That’s it! But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Explore the remaining 90 companies from CSA Research’s Global Market Study in the table below.
Top 100 translation companies worldwide
in USD (millions)
|Number of FTEs||Offices|
|21||BIG Language Solutions||US||$67.00||400||23|
|27||Certified Languages International||US||$49.64||220||2|
|43||Sichuan Lan-Bridge Communications||CN||$23.50||550||18|
|47||CBG Konsult & Information||SE||$22.80||170||10|
|56||Human Science Co.||JP||$17.30||134||3|
|57||LinguaLinx Language Solutions||US||$16.60||48||1|
|60||Glodom Language Solutions||CN||$15.60||400||6|
|61||itl Institut für Technische Literatur||DE||$15.41||60||5|
|64||Propio Language Services||US||$14.70||60||1|
|79||Hansem Global Language Services||KR||$10.19||150||5|
|80||Iota Localisation Services||IE||$10.10||20||1|
|82||Sandberg Translation Partners||UK||$9.76||121||4|
|91||EGO Translating Company||RU||$7.90||242||5|
|96||AVB Language Group||NL||$7.19||25||1|
|98||Master Translation Services||CN||$6.72||98||6|