** This article is updated regularly. It was last updated in March 2021 **
2020 marked the start of a new decade, one in which technology will likely be more important and more advanced that it has ever been. Globalisation will continue to mean that businesses can trade across international borders, enjoying all the commercial advantages associated with doing so. This means that translation services (and interpretation services) will be in much demand over the course of the year ahead – and the decade. Indeed, figures from Statista show a projected increase in the market size of the global language services industry from US$49.6 billion in 2019 to $56.18 billion in 2021.
What companies need translation services? Those that want to take advantage of the huge economic advantages that trading internationally can bring! Those companies need to know that they have access to the best translation services on the market, from legal translation to financial translation and everything in between. It’s not just a question of Googling ‘translation services near me’ and clicking on the first link that the search results throw out!
Supporting a company to bring a product to market in another language is a detailed process. The translation company needs to work on everything from the product’s packaging (including complying with local legislation regarding what must be displayed on the packaging) to the information leaflet inside that accompanies the product. The agency’s marketing, social media and website translators will need to work together to present the business and its products to the intended audience. Then there are the practical arrangements to take care of, from contracts with stockists and hauliers to meeting local health and safety requirements.
What is your translation priority for 2021? Is it software translation and localization, video translation or simply good, old-fashioned document translation services? Whichever you need, our round-up of the best and fastest translation services is here to help. We’ve carefully curated the best translation services on the market to bring you everything in one place, so you don’t have to waste time on endless searching. Time is money, after all!
Update: The Best Translation Services for 2021
The companies we originally included in this article, back in 2020, are still providing fast, accurate translation services, just as Tomedes continues to do. As such, we've left our 2020 roundup below. But we also wanted to include a further five companies that have made the grade in 2021:
Each of these companies brings a unique service offering to the table. Let's dive in a take a look to see why these should be included in our list of the best translation services for 2021.
Appen's core focus is on data and AI. The company has been working with languges since 1996, building this into its work training machine learnign models.
Appen provides linguistic services for clients in need of language-based AI solutions. If you have a high-tech language need, this is the translation service for you in 2021.
If your need extends beyond translation to include localization, adaptation and machine automation, it could be time to check in with Welocalize. The company serves as a global transformation partner, providing comprehensive language solutions to corporate clients undergoing digital transformation.
Those with a more creative translation need would to well to consider Hogarth for meeting their translation goals in 2021. The company's blended focus includes creative and digital production, as well as language services, making it ideal for businesses that are looking for a creative partner to help them achieve their multilingual vision.
Acolad bills itself as a one-stop-shop for language and learning needs. Expert translations, which are tailored to a variety of industries, are at the heart of its service, as is sound project management knowledge. A great option for clients with a major translation project to undertake.
Though it's now part of Acolad, Amplexor continues to run its own translation and localization services. Marketing and global content are the watchwords for this business, which enables its clients to make meaningful, multilingual connections with their audiences through its accurate translations.
The Best Translation Services for 2020
What is the best online translation service? It’s one that is fast, accurate, flexible and provides superb customer care. Each of the companies listed below excel in all four of these areas.
If you’re looking of the best translation services in the world (and why wouldn’t you be, after all?), then look no further than TransPerfect. TransPerfect’s focus is on providing business translation services that support their clients to excel. In fact, they provide a wide range of language services in order to do this, including interpretation services, website localization, multicultural marketing and more.
The company was founded more than 25 years ago, so has stood the test of time. They have 90 offices around the world and over 5,000 employees, meaning that they can quickly source reliable, relevant expertise for even the most obscure of translation topics. In addition, TransPerfect uses machine translation for larger volume projects whenever applicable as in the case of website and software localization.
A key translation industry player, Lionbridge has been around since the dawn of time, or thereabouts. The company often feels like one of the first translation services in the world due to how long it has been supporting businesses to achieve their global goals and, indeed, was one of the first global providers of localization services.
Lionbridge’s focus is on both the linguistic and cultural aspects of translation. Their language professionals work from more than 5,000 cities spread around the world, covering over 350 languages. Linguistics, AI and data quality all form a part of the Lionbridge offering, as well as translation expertise that makes them one of the best translation services around. Lionbridge pairs the speed of machine and computer-assisted translation with the accuracy of professional, human translators to provide quality translations even for large-scale projects.
Gengo is another major player in the field of professional translation services. Lionbridge bought Gengo last year, but we've decided to include it in its own right, given the quality translation service that it provides.
Gengo has delivered over 1 billion words and has worked with 65,000+ customers. They offer ‘human translation at machine-like speed’ – a function that positions them as one of the most affordable translation services on the market, at around a sixth of the cost of traditional translation agencies.
Gengo is also prides itself on its fast translation services, starting 95% of jobs within just two hours. This means the agency is ideal for business clients who are in a hurry to make their mark overseas.
Not wishing to blow our own trumpet, but Tomedes is one of the market leaders when it comes to professional translation services. We translate accurately and quickly, working on everything from video translation and transcription to certified translation services. Our expert linguists make short work of delivering high quality translations to our global client base. These professionals also work in tandem with machine translation and computer-assisted translation software in order to deliver quickly and efficiently. Our linguists then check and edit the machine translation software’s output to make sure it is accurate.
Our translation agency has worked with over 50,000 business clients since we were founded in 2007, as well as providing translation services for non-English-speaking families around the world. As well as our expert business translation services, our legal document translation services are highly regarded. In terms of languages, our Spanish translation expertise is beyond compare and we are also fluent in more than 100 other sought-after languages.
If your business deserves the fastest translation service, from legal translation services to video translation, the Tomedes team would love to hear from you!
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The Best Video Translation and Transcription Services
Businesses are increasingly awakening to the power of video when it comes to everything from marketing to customer support. That’s why we flagged video translation up as one of the top translation industry trends for 2020.
A number of professional translation agencies have stepped up to the mark when it comes to providing specialist video translation and transcription services. We round up some of the best translation services for these specialisations below.
Subtitling is one of Translated’s specialisations, so they are well placed to provide top notch video translation services. This is a company with a keen focus on all things tech. They deliver enterprise solutions and developers’ tools in order to support businesses to take a long-term, strategic approach to their translation needs. Everything from software localization to APIs is on offer at Translated, which combines human translators with machine intelligence to provide curated translation and localization solutions worldwide.
Transcription services, captions, foreign subtitles… Rev delivers everything you need for fast, high-quality video translation services. Both transcription and captioning are priced at $1 per minute, with foreign subtitles available for $3-7 per minute.
How do you price translation services like this? Well, you price translation services according to supply and demand, much like any other service. Languages for which there are loads of translators and little demand will be very cheap to deliver. When there’s a huge amount of demand, but very few translators, the cost will quickly climb.
Rev’s approach certainly seems to be working. The company has worked with over 170,000 clients across a wide range of industries, providing video translation expertise for numerous sectors.
SDL is something of an industry stalwart and reliable enough that its computer-assisted translation (CAT) tool was chosen by the European Commission back in 2013 to revitalize its translation memory infrastructure, working across the European Parliament, the European Court of Auditors and six other major European institutions. In addition to computer-assisted translation, SDL also utilizes machine translation technology for faster translations with high-volume output which would then be quality-checked by human translators.
When it comes to business translation, you’re in safe hands with SDL. The company offers customized translation solutions, including video translation and transcription expertise in a vast number of languages.
TextMaster has its own video translation and subtitling service, entitled SubTitly. This delivers both quality and fast turnaround times for clients around the world, helping clients to better serve the 100 million internet users who watch videos online each day. SubTitly neatly takes care of multilingual transcription and subtitling needs across a wealth of subject matters.
The Best Localization Services
Often, translation alone is not enough. That’s why localization is so important. Does your business want to reach out and connect with people? Then you need to localize your content in order that it truly speaks to your intended audiences. That’s why we’ve included a number of localization specialists in our round-up of the best translation services on the market.
One Hour Translation
Any guesses what One Hour Translation’s claim to be one the best translation services for 2020 centres on? That’s right – its speed of service. The company offers specialist website and app localization services, though some users have reported issues with translation quality. However, if speed is your priority, this service is well worth a shot.
An excellent choice for localization services, DayTranslations is committed to supporting businesses that want to broaden their global horizons. Their service promises to help companies that want audiences to feel like their products were made just for them – the absolute crux of a decent localization service. They may not be the cheapest in the industry, but their service is reliable and covers well over 100 languages.
What are the best translation sites? They are translation services that combine linguistic expertise with affordability. That’s where Stepes comes in. It provides everything from localization services to certified translation services (certified translation is a way to officially confirm the authenticity of your translation, and Stepes is one of the best certified translation services around).
When it comes to localization, Stepes offers simplified solutions for busy business clients. Their agile, cloud-based approach promises a faster, better localization service that helps companies to win international customer loyalty. Perfect for ambitious businesses with no time to spare.
GTS Translation Services
For one of the best online translation services around, it’s well worth checking out GTS Translation Services.
Quality of service is a top priority at GTS; the company’s quality management system is certified as compliant with the ISO 17100:2015 standard. Their online translation services cost from $0.08 per word and they work with translators in 100 countries. A focus on human translation (never machine translation) and on clients’ individual needs keeps them at the top of their game.
Mars Translation serves as a marketplace to connect clients with certified, native translators from around the globe. This includes website localization experts in a wide range of languages. By offering real-time interactions and reporting, Mars Translations aims to stand out from the crowd, making it the go-to resource for business clients looking to work directly with high-quality translators.
Best Translation Services for 2020: The All-rounders
Sometimes, a business needs help with multiple translation tasks at once. That’s why we’re finishing our list of the best translation services with couple of solid all-rounders.
From technical and legal translations to neural machine translation engines and APIs, Pangeanic has got your back. Serving Europe, the USA and Asia, this agency offers two tiers of translation service (standard and premium), as well as urgent translation and proofreading services. The emphasis throughout is on a blend of speed and quality that can’t help but appeal to business clients.
Fast, responsive and accurate, JR Language’s translating and interpreting services offer a range of specialisms, from translation for the energy, oil and gas sector to eLearning translation. Businesses looking to operate across multiple countries may well find this translation agency’s human resources translation expertise helpful as well.
So, that’s it! Our list of the best translation services for 2020. We believe that there’s something here for every business translation customer, as well as for those with personal translation needs.
The World Bank projects that global economic growth will stand at 2.5% in 2020. Across the world, there will be pockets of opportunity where this figure will be much higher. Those businesses that have created the right kinds of products and services will be well placed to take advantage of those opportunities. Key to doing so will be to have the right translation company on hand for the duration of the journey.
Are there any other translation agencies that you feel we should have included? If you’ve worked with a great translation company, feel free to name them in the comments below. We’ll look into them when we next update our best translation services list.