The results are in...

Posted on 01 Jan 2016

The results are in...

The biggest players, areas of growth and changing business models are all in the spotlight in the recently published report on the UK language industry by the Association of Translation Companies (ATC).

The UK's language service providers (LSP) market is one of the largest in the world, according to the report which was put together by independent researchers, with a total revenue of more than £1 billion in 2014.

City Legal features twice in the report firstly as one of the UK's top LSP and secondly one of the fastest growing. So what can we put this success down to? We've always strived to identify the individual bespoke requirements of each company and then reacted to them. No two companies are the same and they have their very own needs, and being aware of this has stood us in good stead.

New customers have played a strong role in our success over the last year however we remain proud of the fact that nine out of our top 10 customers have a history of working with us for at least five years.

We also make the most of the technology available to the industry by using a translation management system, customer portals and multiple CAT (computer assisted translation) tools.

Our professional project management ensures there's always a dedicated person to oversee every customer's account and support from the wider City Legal team is available if required.

But back to the report, unsurprisingly, translation and interpreting are cited as generating the majority of revenue with a 60%/25% (approx.) split respectively. Our business model also reflects this trend as our experience allows us to excel in both services.

At City Legal, we embrace change and we're getting set to launch a new multi-lingual marketing service focussing on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Many LSP provide an SEO translation service but most just take the list of English keywords and translate them into the required language.

We know that direct translation like that doesn't work and can result in missed opportunities. 'Sliced white bread' would be a very important keyword for a UK based bakery however in France, where this isn't a well-known item, direct translation wouldn't work. So our multi-lingual marketing service will use mother tongue translators who'll take cultural differences into account, therefore our customers benefit from the most profitable and relevant list of SEO keywords.

The report revealed that the public sector and other LSP account for the top two revenue streams for the companies that participated in the survey. We've seen an increase in the demand from fellow agencies; perhaps it's because they require a higher level of work and we're deemed to be trustworthy.

We also have extensive experience with clients in the patent, legal/financial and engineering industries, demonstrating the subject matter expertise of our mother tongue translation team.

The ATC report found that the fastest growing language pairs are English to German, English to French, English to Arabic and English to Chinese. We're not surprised to see China, one of the world's fastest growing economies, in the list as this reflects our own experience at City Legal. However, we're keeping an eye out for nations such as Russia and India, which show consistent trends for growth, as well as some surprising growth within the east African economies.

Enough about our industry, we want to know about yours. If you've got a language project lined up, we'd love to help. Call us today on 01329 828438 or email


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