The 2021 European Language Industry Survey (ELIS) Results

Initiated in 2013 by EUATC, the European Language Industry Survey (ELIS) is co-organized with ELIA, FIT Europe, GALA, the EMT university network, the European Commission’s LIND group, and Women in Localization. It's a perfect example of a collaboration that produces concrete results. GALA is pleased to play a role in the creation of the survey and the dissemination of the results. Special thanks are owed to Rudy Tirry (EUATC) for all his hard work analyzing and visualizing the data.  

The survey solicits input from language service companies (LSC), independent language professionals, training and language technology providers, language service buyers, and private and public translation departments. The survey covers market trends, expectations and concerns, challenges and obstacles, as well as changes in business practices.

This year the ELIS survey received 907 responses:

  • 172 language service companies
  • 575 independent language professionals
  • 105 representatives of training institutions
  • 44 language departments and language service buyers
  • 11 language technology providers

What was most surprising about the data for 2020 was that there were no big surprises. Considering that the world was gripped by a pandemic and world economies were in flux, the global language industry emerged mostly unscathed, and in some cases, ahead of the curve. Throughout the data, we saw a "sweet spot" emerge in the 1-5 million Euro revenue range. This segment seemed most likely to thrive and reported increased profitability, more new hires, and operational changes and developments focused on growth rather than just efficiency. Many of the other data were aligned with previous survey results. Certainly some changes were accelerated, but for the most part, LSCs stayed on a familiar trajectory.

We welcome you to download the full slide deck and review comprehensive survey results. 

For more data on the globalization and localization industry, please see GALA Pulse Survey Results - Q1 2021.