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Language industry research company Nimdzi Insights has published The Nimdzi 100, reporting on the size and state of the language services industry in 2020. This includes ranking of the top 100 largest global language service providers.

Why does this matter? In Nimdzi’s words,

“The language services industry is growing and there is no end in sight. For your company to dominate the competition and be ahead of the game, you require insights.”

Agreed! Even if you’re not that interested in what the top players in the market are doing, market trends do filter across all sizes of language companies. Being in the know allows you to better position and benchmark yourself in a rapidly changing landscape.


The size of the industry

Nimdzi estimates the size of the growing language services industry to be USD 57 billion in 2020 and gives us a detailed overview of the top 100 biggest companies, 11 of which are headquartered in the UK.

What’s interesting here is that although the top players are in a league of their own, by the time we reach number 50 in the ranking, we’re already firmly in the SME category. The industry is still hugely fragmented, and beyond the 100 listed in the report and Nimdzi’s “Watchlist”, 79.9% of industry revenue is generated by “everyone else”, i.e. companies with revenues of less than $12 million.

This indicates that although the bigger players do get a lot of airtime, it is the SME’s who still make up 80% of the market.



Key trends and challenges

A booming media and games localization space, steady growth of the life sciences sector, e-commerce, legal and finance. However, interpreting growth, leveraging of technologies and the continued digital transformation also contribute to industry trends. These are the key sectors and verticals highlighted in the report.

According to Nimdzi, the two biggest challenges for language service companies in 2020 and beyond are scalability and capability:

“These two overarching challenges are connected to almost every other trend and challenge in the language services industry right now, as either a result of or a driver.

Finding the right talent and investing in technologies to automate repetitive tasks as well as technologies to complement an LSP’s service offerings will be key in 2020.”


The future of SME’s in the industry

How does Nimdzi see the future of small and medium-sized businesses in the industry? Inevitably, some will become acquisition targets for the bigger players. Others are focusing on offering specialised, customised services and standing out by providing better customer service. Not a bad idea on the whole!


Be in the know

You can view the Nimdzi 100 and download the full report at

And while you’re at it, have a look at Slator’s Language Service Provider Index at, reporting not only on Super Agencies and Leaders, but also showcasing Challenger and Boutique companies.

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