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The global Multilingual interpretation market size was valued at US$ 18.25 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach US$ 27.26 billion by 2030, grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.9% from 2023 to 2030.

Multilingual interpretation refers to oral translation services that allow people speaking different languages to communicate effectively. It is used in various settings like hospitals, courtrooms, conferences, business meetings etc. to bridge language barriers. The key advantages of professional interpretation services include accurate communication, compliance to regulations, improved productivity and user experience. The market is driven by factors such as globalization, immigration, international trade and regulations mandating the use of interpreters.

The Multilingual Interpretation Market is segmented by service type, end-user industry, language type and region. By service type, the market is segmented into over the phone interpretation, video remote interpretation, on-site interpretation and others like transcription and translation services. Over the phone interpretation is the largest segment, accounting for the market in 2022. It is gaining popularity owing to benefits like quick access to interpreters and cost efficiency.

Multilingual interpretation Market Regional Insights

  • North America is expected to be the largest market for Multilingual Interpretation Market during the forecast period, accounting for over 35% of the market share in 2022. The growth of the market in North America is attributed to high immigration rates, presence of major providers, and strict regulations regarding language services in healthcare and legal settings.
  • The Europe market is expected to be the second-largest market for Multilingual Interpretation Market, accounting for over 30% of the market share in 2022. The growth of the market in Europe is attributed to rising number of immigrants and refugees, and multilingual population.
  • The Asia Pacific market is expected to be the fastest-growing market for Multilingual Interpretation Market, with a CAGR of over 25% during the forecast period. The growth of the market in Asia Pacific is attributed to growing patient population, medical tourism and increasing international business and trade.

Figure 1. Global Multilingual interpretation Market Share (%), by Region, 2023

 | Coherent Market Insights

Multilingual interpretation Market Drivers:

  • Increasing globalization and international trade: The growth in globalization and expansion of businesses across borders has led to a greater need for multilingual interpretation services. Companies are expanding their operations in foreign countries and interacting with partners, customers and other stakeholders who speak different languages. They require accurate interpretation services to ensure seamless communication and avoid miscommunications in crucial conversations. Global trade between countries has also surged significantly. For instance, according to United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the global merchandise trade volume grew by 23% in 2021 supported by strong demand and economic recovery. This has created the need for language services like multilingual interpretation to enable trade transactions and business dealings across borders.
  • Rising immigration and movement of people across countries: There has been rising immigration across the globe over the past few decades due to reasons such as better economic opportunities, wars, political turmoil, natural disasters etc. For instance, in 2021 the immigrant population stood at 281 million people globally which is a 130% increase from 1990. The influx of immigrants speaking different native languages has necessitated interpretation services in public and private sector organizations of the host countries. Multilingual interpretation has become crucial in settings like hospitals, courtrooms, government offices and more to facilitate communication for immigrants.
  • Regulations mandating language access in public services: Governments across various countries have recognized language barriers as an obstacle in accessing public services. They have implemented regulations and policies around providing interpretation services in healthcare facilities, legal systems, administrative offices and more. For instance, Title VI of the US Civil Rights Act mandates that federally funded organizations must provide interpretation services to non-English speakers. The EU council directive requires healthcare staff to offer interpretation services to any EU patient who needs it. Such regulations have adopted globally drive the demand for multilingual interpretation services.
  • Technological advancements: The integration of advanced technologies like AI, machine learning and big data has enhanced the speed, accuracy, scale and capabilities of interpretation services. AI-based interpretation apps provide quick access to qualified interpreters globally. Remote simultaneous interpretation platforms powered by AI offer accurate translations of meetings and conferences. Interpreters today can also utilize software tools to optimize their workflows and gain insights. Such technological enhancements have made multilingual interpretation services more robust, efficient and scalable. This has expanded their applications across sectors.

Multilingual interpretation Market Opportunities:

  • High potential of emerging economies: Developing countries across Asia Pacific, Latin America and Africa have a massive underpenetrated market for multilingual interpretation services. These countries are characterized by large diverse immigrant populations, rising medical tourism, growing call center and BPO industry etc. which necessitates professional language services. Local governments are also strengthening their regulations around patient rights and language access. For instance, in 2020, Thailand introduced stricter policies for the language rights of ethnic groups within its borders. Players operating in interpretation services have ample opportunities to expand in these emerging economies.
  • Surging virtual events and remote work culture: The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of virtual communication and remote work globally across all industries. There is an exponential rise in virtual meetings, video conferencing, webinars, online events etc. This has created a huge opportunity for providers of remote simultaneous interpretation services which facilitate interactions between people in different locations and languages. The work-from-home policies have also increased the demand for over-the-phone interpretation services. Multilingual virtual assistants integrated with AI also have new use cases owing to remote workflows.
  • Rising healthcare expenditure and accessibility: Healthcare expenditure worldwide was estimated at USD 8.5 trillion in 2019 which is expected to rise significantly over the coming decade. Developed as well as developing economies are investing heavily to improve healthcare infrastructure and expand insurance coverage. Government initiatives are focused on enhancing accessibility and quality of care. This growth in healthcare services globally has led to a surge in non-English speaking patients needing interpretation services for doctor consultations, admin processes, understanding medical procedures and more. It has created a major opportunity for healthcare interpretation service providers.
  • Scope in media, entertainment and education sectors: The global media, entertainment and education sectors are thriving rapidly supported by technological advances and rising spending power. There is huge demand for multilingual content worldwide including films, web series, music, eLearning courses etc. This has opened multiple opportunities for interpretation service providers to enable dubbing, subtitling, localization of content into various languages helping expand global reach. Similarly, the eLearning and digital education segments also rely heavily on language services for translating learning material to serve an international student base.

Multilingual Interpretation Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2022 Market Size in 2023: US$ 18.25 Bn
Historical Data for: 2018 to 2021 Forecast Period: 2023 to 2030
Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR: 5.9% 2030 Value Projection: US$ 27.26 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa:  GCC Countries, Israel,  South Africa, North Africa, and Central Africa and Rest of Middle East
Segments covered:
  • By Service Type: Over the Phone Interpretation, Video Remote Interpretation, On-site Interpretation, Others (Transcription, Translation) 
  • By End-User Industry: Healthcare, Legal, Education, Government, Others
  • By Language Type: Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, French, German, Others
Companies covered:

Lionbridge, TransPerfect, SDL plc, LanguageLine Solutions, Telelanguage, Straker Translations, GlobaLexicon, Day Translations, GLOBO Language Solutions, Language Services Associates (LSA), Language Connect, CSOFT International, WordExpress Corporation, The Geo Group Corporation, Vocalink Global

Growth Drivers:
  • Increasing globalization
  • Rising immigration
  • Growing international trade
  • Increasing regulations
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Shortage of skilled interpreters
  • High cost
  • Complex regulatory policies

Multilingual interpretation Market Trends:

  • Adoption of advanced technologies and automation: Multilingual interpretation service providers are increasingly adopting latest technologies like AI, ML and automation to enhance capabilities and boost efficiency. AI enables faster linguist onboarding and matches highly qualified interpreters to assignments based on their skills and subject expertise. It also powers remote simultaneous interpretation platforms. ML is used for real-time speech analytics to aid interpreters. Automated workflows using PM tech ensure seamless management of assignments. Chatbots help provide basic interpretation support in multiple languages. Such adoption of technology is a key trend shaping the market.
  • Growing demand for integrated solutions: There is a rising demand from enterprises and public sector organizations for comprehensive language service offerings from a single vendor that include interpretation, translation, localization, consulting etc. Providers are increasingly offering integrated omnichannel solutions ranging from over-the-phone and video interpretation to onsite services and tech tools for interpreters. This helps organizations streamline their approach to meeting multilingual needs. Integrated solutions also enable easy monitoring, reporting and tracking for better management and compliance.
  • Focus on ensuring data privacy and security: Stringent data privacy laws such as GDPR and HIPAA have raised the focus on data security within language services. Interpretation involves dealing with a lot of sensitive client information that needs robust protection. Service providers are deploying measures like encrypted data transfers, anonymization of transcripts, restricted staff access and regular security audits. They are highlighting their security capabilities to assure clients and gain a competitive edge. Adhering to global regulations around consumer data and privacy continues to gain importance.
  • Rising demand for language diversity: Traditionally major languages like Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic accounted for most interpretation services. However, rising globalization is creating significant demand for services in niche, regional, less common languages. The influx of immigrants from different parts of the world has added to linguistic diversity across countries. Interpreters for languages like Haitian Creole, Pashto, Hmong, Kurdish, Oromo etc. are gaining increased relevance. Providers who can offer a highly diverse language pool in addition to major languages have an edge in the market.

Multilingual interpretation Market Restraints:

  • Shortage of qualified linguists and interpreters: The interpretation market is facing an acute shortage of well-trained, certified, language-skilled professionals. Complex assignments require interpreters with specialized vocabulary knowledge in areas like healthcare, law etc. which can only come through rigorous training and years of experience. But educational institutes lag in offering extensive interpreter training programs designed as per industry requirements. This has led to a large demand-supply gap of qualified linguists globally, affecting service capabilities.
  • Lack of control over quality of services: The interpretation business relies heavily on a distributed network of independent freelance interpreters who work remotely. Providers struggle to have stringent end-to-end control over the quality of services delivered by freelancers working from home offices/studios. Any issues like unprofessional conduct, inaccuracies, delays etc. on the freelancer’s end can affect client experiences. This risk is magnified in case of new freelancers. Lack of quality control has an adverse impact on brand reputation.
  • Budget constraints of buyers: While organizations acknowledge the benefits of professional interpretation services, they can be expensive budget-wise especially for smaller businesses. Onsite services charge hourly fees in addition to assignment fees. SMEs and some public sector organizations with budget limitations find the rates unaffordable for daily requirements. This restricts the adoption of these services only for absolute necessities rather than as an organizational best practice.

Recent Developments

New product launches

  • In March 2021, Interpreters Unlimited launched video remote interpretation services for healthcare organizations to provide quick access to interpreters during virtual visits. This helped improve communication for non-English speaking patients.
  • In January 2022, LanguageLine Solutions introduced Avaza mobile app to allow healthcare providers to connect with interpreters within 15 seconds during medical emergencies. This helped overcome language barriers in time-sensitive situations.
  • In June 2020, Cyracom launched over-the-phone interpretation services in 150 languages for small and medium businesses to improve communication with diverse customers.

Acquisition and partnerships

  • In October 2021, LanguageLine acquired Pacific Interpreters expanding its footprint in California and better serving state's diverse population.
  • In July 2022, TransPerfect acquired Lingo24 strengthening its position in global translation and interpretation market across Europe and Asia.
  • In April 2020, Lionbridge partnered with Unbabel to provide AI-powered translation services for improved speed and accuracy.

Figure 2. Global Multilingual interpretation Market Share (%), by End-User, 2023

 | Coherent Market Insights

Top companies in Multilingual interpretation Market

  • Lionbridge
  • TransPerfect
  • SDL plc
  • LanguageLine Solutions
  • Telelanguage
  • Straker Translations
  • GlobaLexicon
  • Day Translations
  • GLOBO Language Solutions
  • Language Services Associates (LSA)
  • Language Connect
  • CSOFT International
  • WordExpress Corporation
  • The Geo Group Corporation
  • Vocalink Global

*Definition: The multilingual interpretation market refers to the industry providing oral translation and interpretation services to facilitate communication between two or more parties speaking different languages. It includes over the phone, video remote and on-site interpretation services offered in healthcare, legal, education, business, government and other settings. With globalization and rising immigration, demand for eliminating language barriers is driving growth of companies providing multilingual interpretation via human interpreters and technology solutions. The market is poised to grow significantly in coming years with increasing globalization, cross-border mobility, international trade and regulations mandating language access in many countries.

Few other promising reports in Multilingual interpretation Industry

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Frequently Asked Questions

Shortage of qualified interpreters, lack of quality control over freelancers, and budget constraints for some buyers are key growth hampering factors.

Increasing globalization, rising immigration, language access regulations, and technological advancements are major drivers of market growth.

Over the phone interpretation is the leading component segment due to its quick access and cost-efficiency.

Major players include Lionbridge, TransPerfect, SDL plc, LanguageLine Solutions, Telelanguage, and others.

North America is expected to lead the market, followed by Europe and the Asia Pacific.
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