What is a Language Service Provider (LSP)?

What is a Language Service Provider LSP

In most cases, people confuse themselves with the terms translation company, language service provider, localization company, and translation company. While localization is part of the translation process, other mentioned terms mean one thing.

You might encounter a language service provider (LSP) when you work in the translation industry. Most people call it when referring to organizations and companies offering translation services. Additionally, LSP refers to a full-service company providing interpreting, translation, localization, transcription, transcreation, subtitling services, and more. In general, LSPs work with various languages. Some of them specialize in a few languages. Others deal with hundreds of languages.

What do they do?

As has been previously mentioned, LSPs cater to a vast array of works relating to languages. The most common of which is translation. In most cases, LSP is capable of translating the following:

  • Blogs
  • Websites
  • Financial, legal, educational, and medical documents
  • Books
  • Manuals
  • Magazines
  • Interview transcripts.

In most cases, people confuse themselves with the terms translation company, language service provider, localization company, and translation company.

Additionally, for legal, medical, and financial documents, an LSP with certifications and subject matter expertise is needed to translate specific terminologies accurately. Within the translation process is localization. This ensures that the website’s content, product information, games, software, and marketing materials sound and look local, adapting to local tradition, culture and preferences.

Localization also considers nuances of a specific country, group, or area and may involve changes in different elements like colors, fonts, images, and formats. Some might also encounter terms like transcreation and internationalization. They lean more towards creative writing and translation. Internationalization serves as the preparatory phase before transcreation. The services are most applicable for marketing and advertising, ensuring the materials fully adapt to the local culture. More importantly, a full-service LSP may include captioning and subtitling, transcription, and voice-over services.

Another feature an LSP does is interpretation. It means translating a spoken word. It can include consecutive, simultaneous, over-the-phone, escort, whisper, sign language, and video remote interpreting.

Who needs a Language Service Provider?

Previously, you would tap a translation service provider to translate documents and papers. But now, they can do more than translate. More and more businesses planning to expand to international markets hire LSP. These businesses include:

  • Those that have no in-house translation technology
  • Companies that are targeting to enter new markets.
  • A company looking for cost-effective and sustainable localization operation
  • Businesses looking to modernize and improve their current localization program


Why should you use an LSP?

Not all businesses have the capacity and resources to launch their translation process. Hence they turn to a language service provider. Additionally, there are other significant reasons to use a language service.

  • An LSP provides you with a project manager to handle your projects from start to finish. Suppose you have a ten-language translation task; you only need to communicate with the project manager instead of sending emails back and forth to ten different translators.
  • In most cases, project managers are experienced linguists ensuring that they have an in-depth comprehension of the translation process.
  • LSPs have enough resources to provide their clients with translators familiar with the industry or subject matter that ought to be translated.
  • Most LSPs have translation memory systems. It is a technology that stores previous translations allowing you to pull them out at times when you launch a similar product with the same press release.

How to choose one?

It can be a handful to choose among the hundreds of LSPs. Even researching online will take much of your time. For a less hassle search, see the following points in selecting a language service provider.

  • Experience. The most famous provider might not be the most experienced one. So it would help if you choose wisely. With all the distinct terminologies, nuances, and other unique details for every language and industry, you need to ensure you go for an LSP that can provide expert and experienced translators.
  • Cost-efficient and flexible offers. Your chosen LSP must provide project costs that align with your budget. Some companies charge minimum word fees. Others might have project management or translator management fees. They all vary, so ensure to ask for specific fees to avoid surprises.
  • Standards in qualifying translators. The quality of translators will affect the services you receive. Each LSP implements its criteria on how they hire and qualify translators. You can discuss with LSPs the training and experiences their pool of translators acquired and whether they’re native speakers or specialize in specific industries.

Getting language services is an investment you wish to get more revenue from in the future. That is why choosing the right LSP for your business is necessary.

  • Software capabilities. Look for LSPs that utilize tools and technology in their translation process. These tools include integration and automation, translation management system, translation proxy, transcreation tool, CAT tool, and translation analytics. These will allow you to get the best language service to compete internationally. Additionally, the tools will optimize and speed and quality of translation and localization projects.

Ensure a quality content with the best Language Service Provider

Getting language services is an investment you wish to get more revenue from in the future. That is why choosing the right LSP for your business is necessary. With Circle Translations, we take a careful and in-depth look at your website and provide you with cost-effective project plans to create quality linguistic content. More importantly, our workflow includes a project manager who supervises the process and considers your preferences for the translation project. We provide localization and translation services in over fifty languages, ensuring we cater to most, if not all, of the business news on a global scale.