Common Sense Advisory calculated that the global market for outsourced interpreting services hit US$2.5 billion in 2007, with telephone interpreting representing a significant percentage of this amount. In 2007, the global telephone interpreting market was worth US$700 million, with an estimated US$500 million generated in the United States. The firm estimates that this number will increase to US$1.2 billion by 2012. The findings are detailed in June 2008 research entitled, “Telephone Interpretation.”
Common Sense Advisory’s research reveals that the market demand for telephone interpretation crosses nearly every major industry vertical. Medical interpreting accounts for one-third of the total U.S. telephone interpreting market. In the United States, many private healthcare providers receive federal funds through programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. All recipients of federal funds are required – per Title VI of the Civil Rights Act – to provide language services based on the concept that to do otherwise would be to discriminate on the basis of national origin, which includes one’s native language (see “When Translation is the Law,” Common Sense Advisory, May07).
The research, published as two companion reports, focused on the needs of buyers and suppliers of interpreting services, analyzes the global demand and supply for telephone interpreting services. “Telephone Interpretation: The Demand Side” details how customers buy telephone interpreting services for a wide range of market segments, including health care, call centers, utilities, and retail. It also offers procurement suggestions for buyers. The second report, “Telephone Interpretation: The Supply Side,” provides market size, growth rates, and service provider rankings. It also recommends growth and customer service strategies for existing and prospective suppliers of telephone interpreting services.
“The mythical translation device that allows people to communicate effortlessly across written and spoken forms of all languages has yet to be invented,” said report analyst, Nataly Kelly. “Until that time, people can turn to telephone interpreting services that can connect them with a human interpreter for nearly 200 languages in under 30 seconds. With the availability of such services, there is no reason why people should struggle with spoken language barriers,” added Kelly.
The research reports also contain Common Sense Advisory’s first-ever ranking of the Top 15 interpreting companies worldwide, including firms such as Language Line Services in the United States and Manpower Business Solutions in the Netherlands. Both reports, “Telephone Interpretation: The Demand Side” and “Telephone Interpretation: The Supply Side,” are available to Common Sense Advisory’s members at www.commonsenseadvisory.com.