Trends in Telephone Interpreting
by Nataly Kelly, Vijayalaxmi Hegde
August 29, 2011
August 29, 2011

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The telephone interpreting (TI) market makes up an estimated US$994.18 million worldwide in 2011, or 3.40% of the total language services market, up from 3.26% in 2010 (see “The Language Services Market: 2011,” May11). In essence, the telephone interpreting sector is growing and making up a larger share of the total language services market than in the past. It’s also attracting attention from language service providers.

Yet, on the global map of language services, telephone interpreting is an island with relatively few inhabitants. While thousands of companies sell over-the-phone interpreting services, fewer than two dozen firms worldwide earn more than US$1 million from TI. Most of these companies are based in the United States, where the bulk of the global demand is concentrated. While there are companies with significant contracts in places like the United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, and the Netherlands, the market is most mature in North America, where the services have evolved over the past few decades.

In this report, we concentrate on the North American market with a strong focus on the United States. In other markets, large contracts are typically limited to government tenders, so the ways those markets behave are somewhat different from those in the U.S., where an array of commercial businesses purchase TI in order to sell their goods and services to large non-English-speaking segments of society. However, companies based outside the United States can obtain valuable findings about the directions in which commercial TI buyers are headed as the U.S. market continues to mature.

  • Global Leaders
  • Industry Providers
  • Technology Vendors
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