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The Language

Services Market:
2012
An Annual Review of the
Translation, Localization, and
Interpreting Services Industry
By Nataly Kelly, Donald A. DePalma, and
Robert G. Stewart
May 2012

The Language Services Market: 2012


By Nataly Kelly, Donald A. DePalma, and Robert G. Stewart
May 2012
ISBN 978-0-9834358-3-9
Copyright 2012 by Common Sense Advisory, Inc., Lowell, Massachusetts,
United States of America.
Published by:
Common Sense Advisory, Inc.
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The Language Services Market: 2012

Table of Contents
Topic................................................................................................................................................. 1
What Youll Find in This Report ................................................................................... 1
Sizing................................................................................................................................................ 2
The Size of the Language Services Market in 2012 ...................................................... 2
North America Shrinks While Europe and Asia Grow ............................................... 3
More Language Service Providers in More Countries ........................................... 5
The Market Includes Thousands of Small Players ................................................. 6
Suppliers .......................................................................................................................................... 8
The Top 100 Global Language Service Providers ........................................................ 8
Observations on the Top 100 Global LSPs in 2012 ..................................................... 12
The Largest Suppliers in Nine Major Regions of the World ..................................... 13
Africa ........................................................................................................................ 13
Asia ........................................................................................................................... 14
Europe Eastern ..................................................................................................... 15
Europe Northern .................................................................................................. 16
Europe Southern................................................................................................... 17
Europe Western .................................................................................................... 18
Latin America .......................................................................................................... 20
North America ......................................................................................................... 21
Oceania ..................................................................................................................... 22
Data ................................................................................................................................................ 23
Benchmarks for the Language Services Sector ........................................................... 23
Project Management Benchmarks Reveal Productivity Levels ........................... 28
Benchmarking Average Revenue per Salesperson............................................... 29
How the Service Breakdown of the Market Is Changing .......................................... 30
Implications................................................................................................................................... 35
The Companies with the Best Information Win Every Time .................................... 35
Most Challenges Start at the Planning and Leadership Level............................. 35
Operational Missteps Ruin Even the Best-Laid Plans .......................................... 37
Most LSPs Also Struggle with Sales and Marketing ............................................ 38
Methodology................................................................................................................................. 40
About Our Methodology ............................................................................................. 40
Target Language Service Provider Validation ...................................................... 41
Removal of Duplicates ............................................................................................ 41
About the Conservative Nature of Our Estimates ..................................................... 42
LSPs in New and Emerging Markets .......................................................................... 43
How We Conducted Our Global Market Survey ....................................................... 44
Recruitment Activities ............................................................................................ 44
Data Collection ........................................................................................................ 45
How We Sized the Global Language Services Market .............................................. 46
How We Identified the Largest Industry Providers .................................................. 47
Limitations of Our Efforts to Rank the Largest LSPs ........................................... 47
Data Validation and Accuracy ............................................................................... 48
Technical Notes on the Global Ranking ................................................................ 49
Why We Expanded the List to Include 100 Global Market Leaders ................... 50
Copyright 2012 by Common Sense Advisory, Inc.
Unauthorized Reproduction & Distribution Prohibited

May 2012
www.commonsenseadvisory.com

The Language Services Market: 2012

ii

About the Companies that Appear in Our Rankings ................................................ 51


About Our Ranking Methodology .............................................................................. 52
About Subsidiaries, Business Units, and Collective Entities..................................... 53
About the Global Market Size Estimates .................................................................... 55
About Common Sense Advisory ........................................................................... 57
Future Research....................................................................................................... 57
Applied Research and Advisory Services ............................................................. 57

Figures
Figure 1: Global Language Services Market Share by Region ........................................ 4

Tables
Table 1: Language Services Market Share by Region ...................................................... 3
Table 2: Historical Change in Market Share by Region ................................................... 5
Table 3: The Number of LSPs in Each Region Is Changing ............................................ 6
Table 4: Most LSPs Have Two to Five Employees ........................................................... 7
Table 5: The Top 100 Global Language Service Providers in 2012 ............................... 12
Table 6: The Top 5 Language Service Providers in Africa............................................. 14
Table 7: The Top 20 Language Service Providers in Asia.............................................. 15
Table 8: The Top 20 Language Service Providers in Eastern Europe ........................... 16
Table 9: The Top 20 Language Service Providers in Northern Europe ........................ 17
Table 10: The Top 15 Language Service Providers in Southern Europe ...................... 18
Table 11: The Top 25 Language Service Providers in Western Europe ........................ 19
Table 12: The Top 15 Language Service Providers in Latin America ........................... 20
Table 13: The Top 25 Language Service Providers in North America ......................... 21
Table 14: The Top 5 Language Service Providers in Oceania ....................................... 22
Table 15: Year-to-Year Change in Average Revenue by Company Size ...................... 23
Table 16: Year-to-Year Change in Average Revenue per Employee by Country ........ 25
Table 17: Gross Profit Margins Reported by LSPs ......................................................... 25
Table 18: Average Number of Clients Reported by LSPs .............................................. 26
Table 19: Average Revenue per Client by Size Range ................................................... 26
Table 20: Average Revenue per Client by Region .......................................................... 27
Table 22: Number of Project Managers per LSP ............................................................. 28
Table 23: Average Revenue per Project Manager by Size Range .................................. 28
Table 24: Average Revenue per Project Manager by Region ........................................ 29
Table 25: Number of Salespeople per LSP ...................................................................... 29
Table 26: Average Revenue per Salesperson by Size Range ......................................... 30
Table 27: Average Revenue per Salesperson by Region ................................................ 30
Table 28: Language Services and Technology Market Segmentation .......................... 31
Table 29: Fastest-Growing Services from 2010 to 2012 .................................................. 32
Table 30: Changes in Fastest-Growing Services from 2010 to 2012 .............................. 33
Table 31: Changes in Specialization by Service from 2011 to 2012 ............................... 33
May 2012
www.commonsenseadvisory.com

Copyright 2012 by Common Sense Advisory, Inc.


Unauthorized Reproduction & Distribution Prohibited

The Language Services Market: 2012

iii

Table 32: Changes in Competitors by Service from 2011 to 2012.................................. 34

Copyright 2012 by Common Sense Advisory, Inc.


Unauthorized Reproduction & Distribution Prohibited

May 2012
www.commonsenseadvisory.com