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The boutique translation agency: small is beautiful

The boutique translation agency: small is beautiful

TransPerfect has acquired Semantix, which reinforces its presence in the Nordic language market and establishes it as the biggest translation company globally. This perpetuates the trend of mergers and acquisitions in the language sector. TransPerfect has set a goal to surpass its billion-dollar revenue by the end of the year and intends to substantially grow its customer base through expansion. In the upcoming months, it is expected that multinational corporations will continue to acquire smaller agencies as part of their merging strategies. This development has caused concern amongst smaller agencies, could the boutique translation agency be next on their menu?

Mass market companies

Global translation agencies have been the go-to for businesses seeking multilingual translation services in every language under the sun, but they come with a hefty price tag.

Thousands of project managers and salespeople work at Super Agency offices to offer a standardised service across different languages at the lowest price possible. These global brands offer cheap corporate, pre-packaged translation solutions to businesses aiming to expand globally but consistently fail to provide relevancy to their clients’ needs compared to local competitors in country.

As businesses favour knowledge of their niche markets, they now opt for the more nimble boutique translation agencies that can deliver a human touch and competitive edge with perfect timing.

In a David and Goliath scenario, the boutique translation agency continues to outmanoeuvre its larger rivals, these large groups are finding it challenging to stay affordable while offering an ever-increasing range of specialist niche language services.

What is a boutique translation agency?

ISO 17100

A boutique translation agency brings the same type of niche services as a boutique law or PR firm. A boutique language agency can build closer client relationships and adapt to the client’s ever-changing needs. Boutique language service companies often provide client consultancy and are fast-paced and flexible enough to act as an extension of the client’s team.

Rather than trying to break through the bureaucracy of working with a large firm, with a tight, skilled team, a boutique firm reacts quickly providing rapid solutions to their clients’ problems. In addition, their compact size gives boutique firms the freedom to quickly navigate market trends and industry developments to offer innovative cutting edge services, fast.

Specialised experience

Unlike large agencies that focus more on bulk automated project management, a boutique translation agency can give each client individual attention and does not try to meet every need. A small firm can offer quality language services, true expertise and excellent service. A boutique firm knows its target language, culture and industry inside out. 

Boutique marketing translation agency

A boutique marketing translation agency is based on one simple concept: that translating marketing material takes more than just language skills – it takes real marketing know-how. For clients working with Asian languages, a specialist firm’s mastery of context and culture is key.

What’s more, boutique firms understand their target market and can offer more than language skills. Each specialized team member has expertise in specific areas such as marketing, technical or medical translations.

Many boutique agencies offer more than simple document translation by going even further to help clients gain relevancy in their local market. They offer services like creative writingLinguistic Quality Assurance (LQA) App Translations and SEO optimised localisation services.

Personal Service

With a small firm, clients have much more than a specialised expert on hand. A boutique firm also brings a personal service.

Put simply, boutique companies know their clients. So instead of making clients choose from pre-packaged services, they learn their core values, goals and work style. Then, their service is built directly around the clients’ needs.

Since boutique agencies are small, they try hard to keep their business running and go the extra mile. That desire to earn and keep a client drives them to deliver excellent results consistently. They work with a wide range of highly trained, specialist translators and take quality control seriously. It’s not just a box to check – it’s their relationship with you.


Companies are often surprised to learn they can actually save money with a boutique firm. That’s partly because small firms tailor solutions to the client – not the other way around. 

Smaller firms often elect to employ trusted linguists with extensive experience in their target market. Specialist Translators likely live in the country whose language they specialise in and receive payment in their local currency.

This allows a boutique agency to keep quality high and costs low. Translators are happy with generous rates in the local currency and stay with the agency long-term forming highly successful workgroups. On the other hand, clients are thrilled with the quality and value.

Why choose a boutique translation agency?

Customer satisfaction runs high when an innovative and agile team invests in their success. In an ever-changing, evolving world, a small firm can offer the most personalised solution. For those companies who aspire to remain relevant abroad, partnering with a company that continuously evolves and steadfastly supports them is now the preferred choice. With the winning combination of quality and value, boutique translation agencies are here to stay.

boutique translation agency

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