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CSA Research Releases 17th Annual Ranking of the Largest Language Services Providers Worldwide (2021)

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BOSTON) – July 13, 2021 -- The language services and technology industry includes more than 27,000 players worldwide, ranging from boutique local agencies to large global companies. This diverse group of language service providers (LSPs) and translation technology vendors adds up to a multi-billion-dollar global industry. CSA Research has released its 17th annual ranking of the largest LSPs in the world. The rankings are a result of the language industry’s most comprehensive, large-scale market survey.  

Leading Players in the Translation Services and Technology Market 

LSPs support global experiences in other languages, delivering essential translation, interpreting, and localization capabilities, as well as a growing portfolio of data-centric services, to businesses, governments, NGOs, and individuals around the world. Included in CSA Research’s global market study is the ranking of the largest 186 language services and translation technology providers, ranked globally as well as across eight regions.  

The top 10 largest LSPs worldwide, listed according to 2020 revenues, are: RWS Holdings; TransPerfect; Lionbridge; LanguageLine Solutions; Keywords Studios; Appen; translate plus; Hogarth Worldwide; Acolad; and Welocalize.  

RWS Holdings’ purchase of SDL was the biggest language sector purchase since Lionbridge more than doubled its size in 2005 by buying Bowne Global. This combination with SDL puts RWS in the top position for 2021, closing in on US$1 billion in revenue.  
The 10 largest companies illustrate major themes in the industry: consolidation, the use of money both possessed and borrowed, data for machine learning, global content, extended content value chains, geographic expansion, and a focus on sectors that prospered in 2020 such as e-commerce, technology, and life sciences.  

“Companies up and down the industry are taking these actions offering more scalable, capable language services, regardless of the language. Some are intent on creating IPO-ready companies through organic growth and mergers to increase their economic value,” comments Dr. Donald A. DePalma, CSA Research’s Chief Research Officer. “Despite their size, all of the largest LSPs manifest one or more of the themes of consolidation, importance of data leverage, global content rather than just localization, more services, geographic expansion, and vertical focus.” 

Study Methodology 

The findings, based on a representative sample of the 27,000 LSPs in CSA Research’s database, are part of the firm’s primary research offering.  The firm uses structured and documented market research methodologies to ensure independent and reliable data-driven research for language service providers, technology vendors, global enterprises, and investors. The findings are based on verified and validated data. Many companies provide financial and company data but opt to not include their earnings in the public rankings. 

“Producing a statistically valid sizing of the market requires historical knowledge, stringent methodologies, and verified data,” comments the firm’s CEO, Tahar Bouhafs. “Business leaders, LSP executives, and investors trust and use our research to make data-driven decisions that support growth.   

Upcoming Language Services Industry Market Research 


“2021 Rankings of Largest LSPs in the World” includes the revenues, rankings, and locations of the 186 largest LSPs in the world, and regional rankings of the largest LSPs in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin America, North America, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, and Western Europe 
With dozens of datapoints per respondent, CSA Research produces multiple pieces of research as part of the global market study series, including the following forthcoming pieces of research: 

  • “The Language Services Market: 2021” 
  •  “M&A in the Language Sector” 
  • “The Demand for Language Services: 2021”  
  • “Fastest Growing LSPs: 2021” 

The annual ranking of the largest 100 language services providers in the world is open-access and available at


About CSA Research 


CSA Research, formerly Common Sense Advisory, is an independent market research company helping companies profitably grow their global businesses and gain access to new markets and new customers. Its focus is on assisting its clients to operationalize, benchmark, optimize, and innovate industry best practices in globalization, internationalization, localization, interpreting, and translation. | @CSA_Research 

Tweet this: See the LSPs that made the CSA Research 17th annual ranking of the largest companies in the industry.  #translation #marketresearch  



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