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Language Access Policies and Technology Advances Change the Interpreting Landscape

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(BOSTON) February 12, 2015 – Interpreting services increasingly touch the general public in everyday situations, especially when it comes to legal and medical language access. It enables hospitals, courts, and businesses to convey messages to millions of people each day. To assess the state of this fast-growing segment of the language services industry, independent market research firm Common Sense Advisory (CSA Research) conducted a survey of 197 buyers of interpreting services from 25 countries. The survey captured buy-side organizations of all sizes. Buyers in the business or private sector accounted for 26% of responses, followed by medical and health care (19%), and legal and judiciary (10%).

The results are detailed in the report “The State of the Interpreting Market,” which focuses on four issues: the demand for interpretation, vendor sourcing practices, interpreter qualification requirements, and vendor management and measurement.

Key findings in the report include:

  • The demand for interpretation is steadily rising. 66% of respondents confirmed that the demand for interpreting service is growing.
  • Spanish and Chinese lead the list of requested languages. The most commonly requested language pairs are English to or from Spanish and English to or from Chinese. However, interpreting needs have been on the rise across many language pairs and, based on the data, are expected to continue to grow.
  • In-person interpreting generates the most revenue. But as the switch to virtualized modalities continues, buyers’ spend on over-the-phone interpreting (OPI) and video-remote interpreting (VRI) will continue to rise.
  • Buyers of interpreting services tap into a broader supply chain for their core needs than their translation-buying counterparts. Nearly three-quarters of respondents have freelancers (72%) and in-house interpreters (74%) on their roster.

“The need for interpretation follows economic and business trends,” comments Hélène Pielmeier, the report’s lead analyst. “Companies often add language capabilities when entering new markets. Meanwhile health care settings will work to comply with language access policies for patients with limited proficiency in the local language,” she adds.

“The State of the Interpreting Market” is part of a membership to the firm’s research. For more information about membership or the firm’s interpreting industry research, visit

Members of the media may schedule a briefing with the report’s lead analyst by contacting Melissa Gillespie,,+1 760-522-4362.

About Common Sense Advisory

Common Sense Advisory is an independent market research company helping companies profitably grow their international 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 translation, localization, interpreting, globalization, and internationalization. For more information, visit: or


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