As of mid-November 2017, the US Federal Government has already awarded more funds to translation and interpretation contracts than it did for the whole of 2016. According to’s records, year-to-date 2017 (as of November 22, 2017), the Federal Government has obligated USD 517.2m to translation and interpretation work, whereas spending for the entire year of 2016 was USD 497.7m.

Slator reviewed the database based on the NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) Code 541930, which represents Translation and Interpretation Services and is defined as defines as follows: “This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in translating written material and interpreting speech from one language to another and establishments primarily engaged in providing sign language services.”

Over USD 390m for 20 Companies

Over 77% of the total USD 517m was won by just 20 companies out of over 1,100 competitors. The largest individual contracts in 2017 include a USD 21m contract for the Department of Justice won by SOS International, previously covered by Slator, a USD 16.5m contract for the Department of Defense awarded to ABM Government Services, and another USD 14.9m Department of Defense contract secured by Worldwide Language Resources.

As for the companies that won the lion’s share of US government translation and interpretation spend, meet the top 20 below:

Vendor Total Awarded YTD 2017 (in USD million)

Mission Essential Personnel                                                               60m
Metropolitan Interpreters & Translators                          50.6m
ABM Government Services                                                        49.2m
Global Linguist Solutions                                                        34.6m
CWU                                                                                                       33.7m
MVM Incorporated                                                                    23.2m
Worldwide Language Resources                                                      21.9m
SOS International                                                                      21.6m
Conduit Language Specialists                                                          14.6m
Advanced Language Systems International Inc            13.7m
Mid Atlantic Professionals                                                               13.4m
Leidos                                                                                            12m
Legal Interpreting Services                                                             9m
Lionbridge                                                                                  8.8m
LanguageLine                                                                                    7.1m
Techtrans International                                                       6.4m
Kapsuun Group                                                                                6.2m
Chenega Logistics                                                                   5.8m
Access Interpreting                                                                         5.6m
Globo Language Solutions                                                  5.4m

Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security Top the Buyer List

The Department of Defense is the biggest spender with USD 236.5m in awarded contracts so far, followed by the Department of Justice with USD 125.5m and Department of Homeland Security with USD 54m.

Out of all the departments and agencies reporting into the database, the top ten account for over 96% of the overall translation and interpretation spend:

Department / Agency

Total Spend YTD 2017 (in USD million)

Department of Defense                                                236.5m
Department of Justice                                         125.5m
Department of Homeland Security                            54m
Department of State                                             42.3m
Department of Health and Human Services            13.8m
Social Security Administration                         8.3m
National Aeronautics and Space Administration     7.6m
Department of the Treasury                               4m
General Services Administration                                3.4m
Department of Commerce                                  2.8m

While the US database receives reports from US departments and agencies, it does not offer a full accounting of all government language service spend.

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