Last Updated: October 30, 2019 7:23PM
What Do Language Service Providers Do?
In theory, translation sounds relatively simple. Take one language, change it into another. Two steps. Done.
In practice, of course, things are more complicated.
In theory, companies could (and some do) perform translation and localization work in-house. But the reason so many choose not to is because a language service provider (LSP) like Lionbridge can help simplify processes (and, in the long run, reduce costs) when translation and localization get really complicated. And complications happen as a result of three distinct customer needs: speed, scale, and quality.
What Does Lionbridge Do Better?
At Lionbridge, we’ve earned a reputation as relentless orchestrators of this complexity—largely because of our responses to those three needs.
How does the world’s most trusted global communications platform end up training some of the world’s most cutting-edge machine learning systems? Well, like those machine learning systems, we recognized patterns: patterns of need across companies seeking translation services and AI training data.
Effective translation necessitates a nuanced understanding of (at least) two languages and cultures, both source and target. It requires an understanding of the original content’s goals. It mandates a fluency in tone and subtext as well as vocabulary and grammar. And effective data preparation (and checking) requires fluency in the type of data (speech, video, handwriting, search, etc) and in some cases, the subject matter as well.
So how do we source and apply this knowledge? Our experienced project management team nimbly harnesses a community of tens of thousands of global translators and subject matter experts. These experts have deep linguistic and cultural knowledge and expertise across industries. Our tech-powered platform enables us to leverage this community quickly and efficiently. Most often, we help clients solve the same paradox: how can they maximize quality while minimizing time and cost?
The efficiency of our project managers and the quality of our technology, plus the size and scope of our experts, allow us to optimize for each node on the triangle of pressures clients face. Here’s how.
Need for Speed: Faster Workflow, Faster Translation
For decades, clients have chosen Lionbridge when they’ve needed fast project turnarounds without risking a compromise in quality. Over the past two decades, we’ve built a highly efficient workflow and translator management platform. Such worldwide resources allow us to meet client needs around the clock and around the globe. Our translator base is vast enough, and our project management process streamlined enough, that we can find just the right person for the project—no matter the industry, source, or target language. We can tap these resources for follow-the-sun data collection, cleaning, annotation, and validation.
Plus, our talented technologists treat every client’s project like their own and develop tech-powered systems that automate work where applicable, reducing days or weeks of work into mere minutes. Our tech-enhanced network of connected experts meets our clients’ need for speed—and allows us to provide over 99% on-time delivery.
Translation Efficiency on a Global Scale
Lionbridge’s global community boasts tens of thousands of workers and in-market solution centers in 27 countries. This makes localizing our customers’ content in 50 languages as manageable as localizing it in five. The talented translators in our community are fluent in 350+ languages. They have nuanced expertise across more industries than any other LSP. That means we can find just the right combination of linguistic skill and subject knowledge to localize a company’s website, user guides, marketing materials, and more—in any language it desires.
When companies seek prospects in new markets while maintaining current customers in existing ones, our carefully curated community eases the localization burden. And when companies need to train or check algorithms, we have thousands of eyes and ears at the ready.
Thanks to our hard-working community and our global presence and infrastructure, we provide our customers with that ability to scale—whatever “scale” might mean to them.
Quintessential Quality with Ever-Improving Translation Standards
At Lionbridge, we stand by our commitments to speed and scale, but we’re proudest of the quality of our translation and localization work. Our customers agree with us: in 2018, they gave us a 92% satisfaction rate and trusted us to translate more than 273 million words every month.
It’s our community that secures that quality standard. Native speaker accuracy, bicultural fluency, and personalized style and tone are critical to improving translation and data quality. Around the world, our experts identify the nuances that move content and data from “close enough” to “just right”. Our solution centers and tech-powered platforms allow us to reach these contributors, but the key is their brain power. That, combined with our rigorous quality-checking, ensures the on-brand, on-target quality our customers have come to expect.