Best translation agencies in the UK

Best translation agencies in the UK

Today, providers of professional and corporate translation services play a significant role in the world of international business. In a globalised world and with the developments in technology, businesses are able to trade with partners and customers practically without any boarders. Nonetheless, one of the main obstacles which often interrupts business is the language and culture barrier.

In order to successfully penetrate a foreign market, companies must a adapt socio-cultural approach appropriate specifically for their target audience and language plays a major part in doing just that.Nowadays, the ‘one-fits-all’ approach which assumes that if a business campaign was successful in one market it will also be successful elsewhere, is simply no longer implemented by organisations, and a much more modern approach which looks at each market from an individual angle is followed. 

The translation industry is predicted to be worth over £40 Billion in 2021. A successful translation agency will be able take a big piece of that cake and by being able to provide highest accuracy of work which considers both language and cultural factors as well technological solutions will dominate the market. 

But who are currently the main players in the translation industry? Today, we take a closer look at the most successful UK translation agencies.

  1. RWS

RWS, as they describe themselves are “the world leader in translation and localization, intellectual property support solutions and life sciences language services.” The company was founded in 1961 and their current headquarters are located in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire, U.K. although they operate from a number of offices around the world, including  Japan, China and the U.S. The RWS group comprises of a number of Subsidiary companies, including eclipse translations, which was acquired in 2005.

  • SDL

Specialising in digital marketing and translations as well as content management solutions SDL is one of the market leaders. SDL, founded over 25 years ago, today works with brands such as Phillips or Canon. SDL combines machine translation solutions with the expertise of experienced human translates.

  • Translation Services 24 & Language Reach

Translation services 24, part of language Reach, is one of the fastest growing translation agencies based in London. Founded in 2011 by a language and international business expert Kiran Adatia specialise in providing human translations to a wide range of business sectors – from legal to marketing. Today, the group works with a number of the world’s biggest and most recognisable bands, including BBC, Nike or Universal Music. The translation company offers professional language services, including translation, localisation and DTP in over 200 languages from every corner of the world.

  • London translations

As the name suggests, London translations are a London based language services and translation provider specialising in a wide range of services. Covering over 100 languages LT specialises in legal translation services with prices starting at around £0.10.

  • LionBridge

Lionbridge Technologies, Inc. is a multinational software and professional services company based in the U.S which is also very prominent on the UK market. The agency employs over 6,000 employees worldwide and specialises in language translation, localization, software testing, e-learning translation, internationalization, interpretation, software development & testing, and content development services.

As you can see, the translation market in the United Kingdom is extremely saturated and competitive. The 5 agencies described above are the leading industry experts, nonetheless there is a number of smaller and medium sized providers, which specialise in professional translations for the SME sector.

Looking at the industry from a client perspective, the saturation would allow to find a provider which not only offers the most competitive price and fastest turnaround times, but also guarantees expertise in translating for a particular business sector, whether it’s legal, marketing or the financial area.

Additionally, a growing number of translation agencies now start to offer a much wider range of language services, including multilingual desktop publishing, oral interpreting and even international marketing, including social media campaigns.

Technology also begins to play an extremely important role in the translation industry, and not only due to the advancements in machine translations. Today, if a translation agency wants to remain competitive, it simply must offer software solutions which are suitable for their clients and the type of content they wish to translate, from website to app solutions.

Due to security concerns, cyber security is yet another crucial part of the translation industry. Transferring and storing files/documents which often are extremely confidential is something the translating agencies take extremely seriously, with many employing a dedicated cyber security professional who ensures that the strictest industry standards are met.   

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