The global language services and technology industry reached a market size of USD 27.9m in 2022, expanding 4.77% from the previous year, according to Slator’s flagship annual Language Industry Market Report for 2023.
The market remained resilient in 2022, despite macroeconomic and global uncertainties. However, the first half of 2022 accounted for a significant portion of annual growth, as demand began to soften in the second half of the year.
The report drills down on market share and growth from the perspective of geography, verticals, and buyer intentions within the almost USD 28bn addressable market for language services and technology.
Game localization, media localization, and travel and retail were among the fastest-growing verticals in 2022, while North America, Europe, and Asia accounted for more than 90% of the market.
Slator’s proprietary model — the buyer intentions framework — segments the market based on the factors that motivate buyers of translation, localization, and interpreting to procure language services and technology. Through this lens, buyers’ desire to access a market and need to comply with regulations were the two biggest drivers of language services and technology spend in 2022.
However, the first half of 2022 accounted for a significant portion of annual growth, as demand began to soften in the second half of the year.
The report also examines the competitive landscape of language service providers (LSPs) by segment, drawing on data from the Slator 2023 Language Service Provider Index. It includes an analysis of growth and market share per segment — for Super Agencies, Leaders, Challengers, and Boutiques — in 2022.
As a group, Leaders in the 2023 LSPI fared best in 2022, collectively achieving growth in the mid-teens, while all other segments achieved growth in the mid-single digits. Additional analysis presents market size estimates for machine translation (MT) and interpreting services and technology.
The report concludes with five-year market growth estimates under conservative, neutral, and optimistic scenarios to 2027, projecting flat-to-low growth (up to 4%) in 2023 before a return to (stronger) growth in 2024.