Translation and Localization Industry Set to Grow by Up to 10% to USD 26.2bn in 2021

Language Industry Market Report: Translation and Localization Industry Set to Grow

ZURICH, May 19, 2021 — The language services industry is forecast to grow by up to 10% in 2021, reaching a market size of USD 26.2bn by year-end. A new report published in May 2021 by Slator, the leading source of news and analysis for the language services industry, outlined several key findings, such as

  • The addressable translation, localization, and interpreting market was USD 23.8bn in 2020;
  • The US was the leading country by market size in 2020, generating USD 7.7bn in buyer spend;
  • More than one-third of customer spend was driven by buyers’ need to access markets and one-fifth was driven by regulatory requirements in 2020;
  • Technology, Gaming, Media, and Life Sciences are set to be the fastest-growing end-customer verticals in 2021.

The Slator 2021 Language Industry Market Report found the market to have rebounded swiftly after the disruption caused by Covid-19 during the first half of 2020. The market contracted only marginally (–1.6%) in 2020 thanks to a strong recovery in the second half. The total addressable market for language services was USD 23.8bn in 2020.

Slator Managing Director, Florian Faes, said, “The language industry has shown great resilience — 2020 provided conclusive proof that language services are not discretionary spending but essential.”

From an end-buyer perspective, continued growth is expected in the high-growth verticals of Technology, Gaming, Media, and Life Sciences in 2021.

According to the report, North America dominated the market as the largest region for language services and technology spend in 2020, followed closely by Europe. Furthermore, the US topped the list of the 50 countries and regions analyzed in the report, and was valued at USD 7.7bn (addressable market) in 2020.

The report also featured Slator’s all-new, proprietary framework for market analysis — Buyer Intentions — which provided further insights into who buys language services and why. A third of buyer spend was driven by buyers’ need to access new and existing markets, while a fifth, by regulatory compliance in 2020.

The report also examined the significant technological advances transforming the language industry, highlighting the following:

  • Machine translation is ubiquitous; most translation providers now use a human-in-the-loop model, while some content types still require human-only translation.
  • Remote solutions for interpreting and dubbing are being adopted at an accelerated pace.
  • Advances in speech synthesis and text generation tools have the potential to further disrupt and / or expand the market.

About Slator

Slator is the leading source of news, analysis, and research for the global translation, localization, and language technology industry. The 2021 Slator Market Report is Slator’s flagship report and features insights and data on market size, competitive landscape, technology, investment trends, and more.