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10 Translation & Localization Acronyms You Need to Know

Optimize your translation services

Sometimes, it appears as though the translation and localization industry has a language all its own. With the addition of AI solutions, this is magnified even further. AI services and tools are deeply technical and add to the complex array of content and translation solutions that can be customized for each project. Language services don’t have to be confusing, though. Read our blog to understand ten basic translation services terms, so you can get the optimal translation, content, or localization services you need (perhaps enhanced with AI).

#1. LSP: Language Service Provider

A language service provider is a company offering a wide variety of translation and linguistic services. These services differ by agency and can include translation, localization, interpretation, testing, staffing, marketing, and many more. A top-quality LSP like Lionbridge can add value anywhere along your company’s content journey: from content creation to translation, and more. Today’s top LSPs, like Lionbridge, also offer AI services to ensure more efficient and cost-effective solutions.

#2. SLV: Single-Language Vendor

A single-language vendor provides translation and linguistic services in a particular language combination. SLVs are typically freelance translators specializing in a specific language pair (English to Spanish, for example). SLVs can work independently or as part of a larger LSP.

#3. MLV: Multi-Language Vendor

Multi-language vendors offer translation and linguistic services in multiple languages. Lionbridge is an MLV, offering services beyond translation. We use our innovative AI technology and training to provide customers with advanced content solutions, as well as generative AI language services.

#4. SL/TL: Source Language/Target Language

A source language is the language in which an original piece of content is written. The target language is the language into which a translator translates original content. In the following example, the SL is English, and the TL is French:

Source Content Target Content
I love you Je t’aime

#5. MT: Machine Translation (and AI Strategy Enhancements)

Machine translation is AI-driven automated translation. It relies on computers to produce translations more quickly, so it’s one of the most powerful tools LSPs have for producing high-quality translations more efficiently. Machine translation can be augmented with AI-driven review for a higher-quality, but still ultra-fast and efficient, final product. Another AI translation strategy is to feed a customer’s style guide or translation glossary into the prompts given before machine translation or during a review of output. Either step helps ensure the final product maintains the brand voice, industry terms, etc.

people discussing translation strategy

#6. TMS: Translation Management System

A Translation Management System is a customizable tool LSPs use to automate the translation process and eliminate manual repetitive tasks.

#7. TM: Translation Memory

A translation memory is a customizable database of translations. LSPs store definitions of recurring text segments in a TM, improving both efficiency and consistency of translations for a given client. Lionbridge can also use AI tools to change the tone of TMs, from formal to informal, from one language to another, etc. Customers will get a new treasure trove of content to appeal to new demographics and markets.

#8. OPI: Over-the-Phone Interpretation

Over-the-phone interpretation is precisely what it sounds like: a service that bridges a speaker of one language to a speaker of another by including an interpreter on their phone call. At Lionbridge, our OPIs are linguist experts, connected 24/7, cost-effective, and available anywhere.

#9. CMS: Content Management System

A content management system is a tool for creating, managing, and modifying digital content. When selecting a CMS, global companies should consider its ability to integrate with translation and localization services. This will ensure they can easily translate and localize content and connect with international customers faster.

coworkers reviewing localization solutions

#10. SEO: Search Engine Optimization (and AI Services Enhancements)

Search Engine Optimization is the process of creating and structuring a company’s digital assets, allowing them to be found more easily by users via an online search engine. Good SEO results in increased traffic to a website from users who are more likely to be interested in its product, service, or message. SEO is a critical process that’s complicated enough in one language, let alone multiple languages, for a multilingual, multi-national site. Again, AI services can assist here via SEO research and helping to optimize content (even multilingual content).

Get in touch

Ready to explore AI-powered solutions for your content and language services projects? Lionbridge’s innovative technology, combined with decades of experience, makes us an excellent partner. Let’s get in touch to discuss your content goals. You can trust our team to ensure your AI-powered solutions are secure and tailored to your goals. Let’s get in touch.

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Samantha Keefe