Welcome

thebigword makes the world a smaller place by breaking down language barriers, supporting global trade and helping people access goods, commerce and services in their own languages.

We provide the best translation, interpretation, localisation and language technology solutions for businesses, the public sector and individuals – handling up to 50,000 worldwide assignments every day.

We’re a truly global business with a ‘think global, act local’ approach – empowering our customers to communicate clearly with speakers of all languages.

To us, a first class service means meeting every client’s cost, quality and delivery expectations every time. We achieve this through innovative language technology, expert operational teams and a talented network of 15,000 linguists.

As the world gets smaller, the need for language services grows. thebigword has the right solutions, expertise and people to deliver every single time.

Previously known as the Link Up Group, thebigword was founded in 1980 by our CEO, Larry Gould, and soon established itself as a leading recruitment and Language Service Provider (LSP). The sale of our recruitment division, in 1996, enabled us to focus solely on becoming a world-class LSP.

Since then, the company has grown into a truly global company – with 12 offices across the world and 600 staff. We are proud to be rated as one of the top 20 global language companies.

As we’ve grown, we’ve supported companies to deliver products to new markets; we’ve helped peacekeeping forces diffuse conflicts in war zones and we’ve supported patients and doctors at some of the most difficult and stressful times – helping to take some of the worry away.

Link Up Mikata is a limited company providing all language services. It forms part of thebigword Group Ltd., a private holding company wholly owned by Laurence J Gould and Family and Trust.

Our vision today remains the same as it ever was – to use our expertise to make the world a better place by breaking down language barriers and making communication easier for everyone.

Striking a balance across all the sectors we support, we’ll continue to:

work with education, health and governmental organisations to improve user access to services support businesses in delivering goods and services across the world and opening up new markets

Our clients, our staff and our linguists will always be central to our vision. Our priority is to continue meeting the high standards for which we are known – hitting our delivery targets for every client, every time.

Board of Directors

Larry Gould

Executive Chairman

Nihat Arkan

Global CEO*

Michele Gould

Director and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility

Joshua Gould

Global Corporate Strategy Officer and CEO, thebigword Americas

Garry Levitt

Chief Revenue Officer

Leanne Bottomley

Director of Global HR

Mark Daley

Global Operations Director

Marcus Mills

Chief Financial Officer

Mark Rice

Global Technology Director

Clare Riches

Director of Defence Services

Company timeline

thebigword is born

thebigword achieves “Investors in People” certification.

Investment in technology and web content translation

thebigword brand launches with global expansion into the USA, Japan, China and Germany

Ranked in the top 10 translation companies worldwide

Recognised as the fastest growing language company in the world

thebigword employs over 450 staff worldwide and revenue exceeds £40m

Ranked 85th in The Sunday Times International Fast Track 100

World first! Online bookings can now be automated from end-to-end courtesy of thebigword’s newly released Interpreting Management System.

Awarded a Bronze Stevie American Business Award for Most Innovative Company of the Year

thebigword opens its Defence and Justice division securing a major framework agreement with the MoD

Awarded a Gold Stevie American Business Award for Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year

thebigword receives Non Article 5 NATO Medal for our work in Afghanistan and Iraq through the MoD

thebigword releases its new translation management system, thebigword TMS

thebigword signs contract to provide Interpreting and Translation services to the Ministry of Justice

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Our certificates

Larry Gould

Executive Chairman


The embodiment of true entrepreneurialism, Larry Gould has grown thebigword brand from start-up to leading language technology business, now trusted by more than 80% of the top 100 global brands and organisations. His enthusiasm for the business, and its people, is a key driving force behind the evolution of thebigword as the number one choice for language solutions.

“We believe that being able to speak and read in your customer’s language will soon be taken as the norm.”

Nihat Arkan

Global CEO*


*Consultant to the chairman until the 31st, December, 2018

Nihat Arkan is a global executive with a strong background in global expansion, market development and a proven track record in guiding organisations through periods of accelerated growth. Before joining thebigword, Nihat was CEO of the world’s largest global content management company.

Nihat is leading a programme of new investment in technology and talent to support thebigword’s growth aspirations in key areas.

“I am delighted to be part of a global organisation with very sound business foundation and aspirations to become world leader leveraging our global network for strategic and business expansion.”

Michele Gould

Director and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility


Michele heads up the company’s CSR committee, which is preparing thebigword for the long term by balancing social, environmental and economic considerations against key business decisions.

“We’re proud of our work around the globe and want to ensure our company is fully engaged with its committed staff and the communities we serve.”

Joshua Gould

Global Corporate Strategy Officer and CEO, thebigword Americas


Leading our commercial strategy, Joshua maximises revenue growth and secures new investment avenues. A champion of technological innovation, he is instrumental in the specialist language solutions that continue to transform thebigword’s commercial proposition.

“Our clients are helping to drive fantastic technological innovation within thebigword and the industry. I’m focused on delivering a viable, future-facing commercial strategy, which delivers the solutions our clients are looking for.”

Garry Levitt

Chief Revenue Officer


Garry Levitt joined thebigword in 2018 as Global Chief Revenue Officer.

With international experience in leadership positions in the customer experience, globalisation and localisation sectors and particularly strong expertise in multilingual content services and technologies, Garry spearheads the group’s global growth and customer success programme.

“thebigword is a highly innovative and successful company with great customers, talent and technology. I’m passionate about all three and am excited by the opportunity to contribute my experience and expertise to thebigword’s Board, its customers and employees.”

Leanne Bottomley

Director of Global HR


Leanne is a senior HR specialist, with a wealth of expertise in learning & development, management development and leadership. With more than ten years’ private sector experience at director/ management level, she champions our Global People Agenda and leads on all aspects of HR covering: employment relations; talent and leadership development; recruitment; commercial training; apprenticeships; and employee engagement.

“I believe that our people are our biggest asset. I’m passionate about empowering them to develop their skills and abilities to truly succeed in their careers with us.”

Mark Daley

Global Operations Director


Responsible for the design and delivery of our global client experience strategy, Mark ensures our translation and interpreting operations run smoothly and efficiently.

“I’m passionate about ensuring we deliver a world class service to our clients around-the-clock. With a combination of talent and specialist technology, we can work flexibly with our clients to provide irresistible solutions.”

Marcus Mills

Chief Financial Officer


Marcus joined the board in February 2016 bringing a wealth of experience in the financial management of global businesses. He is focused on supporting growth and identifying opportunities for securing an even brighter future for the thebigword.

Mark Rice

Global Technology Director


With almost two decades experience leading commercial and technology departments for national and multi-national companies; Mark leads thebigword’s technology team.

Mark is passionate about driving innovation forward throughout the business with products designed for a new digital future in order to provide clients with the most efficient technical solutions. 

“I’m proud to lead thebigword’s innovative technology department which continues to develop market leading technology”

Clare Riches

Director of Defence Services


Clare was responsible for the creation of our Defence & International Security team in 2011 and has continued to lead its expansion and development. She ensures our contracts are 100% fulfilled, as well as overseeing updates and improvements to ensure we deliver an unrivalled and cost effective service to every customer.

“The ability to communicate is key to bridging gaps between cultures. Our linguists are the backbone of our work, enabling allied partners to communicate effectively in the pursuit of international security.”