Interpreting services make it possible for cultural and sports events to be enjoyed by millions around the world. They also aid diplomacy, international trade, and academic exchange. On a smaller but equally important scale, interpreting helps immigrants deal with administrative processes, receive quality healthcare, and make themselves heard during legal processes.
The language industry has a cumulative value of 46.9 billion dollars, with thousands of companies across the globe providing localization, translation, and interpreting services. If you’re in need of interpreting (or any of these services), you’ll have to make sense of several options. It can certainly be hard to decide what’s the best interpreting company for you.
In this post, we’ll take a look at seven international language services providers (LSPs) that are leading the way. After introducing you to these providers and explaining their pros and cons, we’ll share a couple of tips on how to choose the right interpreting company.
Let’s get started.
Day Translations is a born-digital and born-global language services, provider. It has a network of over 10 thousand linguists from all around the globe, a solid track record of over 12 years, and the trust of many an industry giant. This 100% remote company is probably one of the most versatile LSPs on this list.
Day Translations offers several different services in the areas of localization, translation, and interpreting. When it comes to interpreting itself, aside from its regular over-the-phone and in-person solutions, the company has designed a digital interpreting platform that makes affordable remote interpreting services available for both companies and individuals.
Day Interpreting is certainly something to have in mind when looking for reliable and professional interpreting services that don’t break the bank. Especially, when we consider that the company offers 24/7 customer support, and has the institutional policy of responding to client requests within 10 minutes.
Lionbridge is an LSP focused on serving global enterprises. The company works with large-scale companies, supporting their marketing and communication efforts. They’re in constant expansion, and most recently added UX, AI, and data-related services to their ambitious offer.
Lionbridge has been in the industry for over 20 years, completing thousands of projects around the world, and working with hundreds of languages.
Despite being one of the biggest language services providers in the world, Lionbridge doesn’t offer interpreting services. Their efforts are completely focused on serving other businesses, with strategically complex, technology-driven translation and localization processes. So, if you’re an individual looking for “small-scale” interpreting (or any other linguistic service), Lionbridge may not be the best option for you.
TransPerfect provides simultaneous and consecutive interpreting, over-the-phone, and in-person. The global NYC-based company was founded in 1992 and has grown to be the largest language services provider in the world.
TransPerfect offers interpreting services in over 170 languages. But it’s slowly shifting its focus and going down the Lionbridge path. In their case, TransPerfect is aiming to focus on language services for media and gaming, with recent acquisitions clearly reflecting that strategy.
LangaugeLine is the longest-standing company on this list. Founded in 1986, the LSP has offices in the US and the UK.
The company focuses on helping Limited English Proficiency people thrive in their new country. According to its website, LanguageLine works with 240 languages. To support its mission, it usually partners with service providers in the legal, financial, healthcare, and government sectors.
Interprefy is a new contender on this list. The Zurich-based company offers a remote simultaneous interpreting solution designed for online (and offline) events. The company also provides clients with some extra support. For instance, recording the event and creating a media library for the client. According to its website, Interprefy also offers planning assistance and on-site technical support.
Enjoyed by the likes of J.P. Morgan, Facebook, Google, and Amway, Interprefy is a promising solution for remote conferencing needs.
Polilingua operates from London and Chisinau and has representatives in four other European cities. The company was founded in 2002 and soon began to expand internationally. It serves both businesses and individuals across domains and usually provides interpreting either in person or over the phone.
As its website shows, Polilingua works with an enormous variety of languages. But, due to their irregular presence around the globe, the availability of in-person interpreters in your area may be limited.
Translators USA was founded in 2003, by Belgian immigrant Danny Goossens. As the company’s website explains, the company was born from the founder’s first-hand experience dealing with sub-par language services. When Goossens began applying for citizenship, he had to hire several translation agencies to help him with his paperwork. Every time, a new problem came up.
The Texas-based company offers translation and interpreting services, with a special focus on official settings. Its interpreting services are fully remote. Among their languages, Translators USA also offers American Sign Language.
How to Choose the Best Interpreting Company
You may already recognize how each option may or may not fit your needs. There are some general criteria you’ll need to have in mind when choosing which interpreting services company you’ll partner with. Here are some questions you should ask yourself when evaluating a company:
- Do they offer my language pair?
- Do they have experience working with my language pair?
- Do they have significant industry experience?
- Do they offer 24/7 support?
- Do they have relevant experience dealing with this specific language need?
- Do their website and marketing efforts target customers like me?
- Do they provide remote interpreting?
- Do they seem technologically equipped to meet my needs?
Every company has its strengths and weaknesses. Especially if you’re making your research ahead of time, don’t hesitate to request an interpreting quote from several competitors. And, while everyone has a budget, price isn’t the only factor you should have in mind. The language industry is vast and diverse, and hopefully, you can find the language partner that suits you best.