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10 Translation & Localization Acronyms You Need to Know

Do you "speak" translation and localization?

If you need something translated into another language, you know you can count on Lionbridge. But can you “speak” translation and localization?

The translation and localization industry has a language all its own. This language is filled with acronyms and terms that translators, interpreters, and project managers use every day.

How do you decode the language of translation providers? Here’s our cheat sheet: 10 translation and localization acronyms you need to know.

1. LSP: Language Service Provider

A language service provider is a company that offers 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.

2. SLV: Single-Language Vendor

A single-language vendor provides translation and linguistic services in a particular language combination. SLVs are most often freelance translators with specialty 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 example of an MLV that offers services that extend past translation.

4. SL/TL: Source Language/Target Language

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

Source ContentTarget Content
I love you

Je t’aime

5. MT: Machine Translation

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.

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, and this improves both efficiency and consistency of translations for a given client.

8. OPI: Over-the-Phone Interpretation

Over-the-phone interpretation is exactly 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 the tool by which companies create, manage, and modify their digital content. When selecting a CMS, global companies should consider its ability integrate with translation and localization services, so they can easily translate and localize content and connect with global customers more quickly.

10. SEO: Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization is the process of creating and structuring a company’s digital assets so they can be found more easily when users make a search using an online search engine. Good SEO results in increased traffic to your website from users who are more likely to be interested in the product, service, or message you are providing. SEO is an important process that’s complicated enough in one language, let alone multiple languages for a multilingual, multi-national site.

Are you ready to speak our language?

Reach out to us to get started on your next translation and localization project.

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Molly Donovan
Molly Donovan