Spanish language industry study results announced

The latest survey of Spain’s language industry shows that it is worth around €700 million and employs nearly 12,000 people.

The quantitative and qualitative study, Situation and outlook for the market of language services and multilingual communication in Spain, is the first in-depth investigation of the sector in a decade. It was conducted by Complutense University of Madrid‘s Department of Applied Communication Sciences and commissioned by the EUATC’s Spanish member Asociación Sectorial de Proveedores de Servicios de Traducción (ASPROSET) and Spain’s other LSC representative organisation, Asociación Nacional de Empresas de Traducción e Interpretación (ANETI). The study was also backed by the Association of Conference Interpreters of Spain (AICE) and the Asociación Profesional de Traductores e Intérpretes Judiciales y Jurados (APTIJ).

Since the last study in 2004 conducted by ASPROSET’s predecessor association, ACT, the turnover of the Spanish language industry has increase by around 180 percent, although the make-up of the providers has remained relatively stable, with just under 89 percent being self-employed professionals, with the remainder accounted for by LSCs and other forms of legal entities.  Corporations account for just under 0.2 percent of the sector.

The study reflects the dynamism of the Spanish market with more than a quarter of new players having entered the market in the last twelve months. The total registered number working within LSCs employing more than 20 people accounted for around 3,530 people.

More than half of those responding to the survey (54.8%) noted that their working practices had been changed by advances in machine translation and the growth in the demand for post-editing services. While an even larger percentage of the sample (56%) agreed that process automation had changed working practices since the last national study ten years ago.

In the meantime, advances in remote interpreting technologies has yet to make a significant impact on the Spanish market with nearly 41% saying that they had not seen any change in adoption of such technical solutions. Similarly, despite the pandemic, just under 45% claimed that there had been no change in hybrid or teleworking practices.

There were no surprises in the challenges faced by LSC owners responding to the survey. Finding and retaining talent echoes concerns of LSC owners in other parts of Europe and the rest of the world (56.2%). With significant numbers reporting pressure from customers to lower prices (54.4%), it is unsurprising that controlling company costs (49.1%) and the effective management of company finances (21.1%) exercises LSC owners’ minds a great deal. However, the out and out single key concern of LSC owners is making wise decisions about which technology to invest in and implementing it across their companies (61.4%).

Commenting, Juan José Arevalillo, the EUATC’s Youth Ambassador and President of  ASPROSET, said:

“This report points to a quickly changing landscape in the language industry. As a result of rapidly evolving technological advances, there’s a need for stakeholders to consider ‘re-inventing’ themselves to adapt to those changes. This study will enable all players to benchmark themselves against reliable data that shows the Spanish language industry as it really is”.



Arancha Caballero, President of ANETI said: “This study corroborates some of the information we already had, but now we can back that with robust unchallengeable data and independent academic analysis”.

The results are in the process of being presented to members of the professional groups which collaborated to commission the study. The full report will be available, free-of-charge, to download from those organisation’s website. It is in Spanish, although an executive summary in English will be available too.

A conference, using the study as a starting point, is planned for the Autumn.