What is a Language Service Provider?


Language Service Providers (LSPs) are translation companies (such as AM Vietnam Language Solutions) that bridge gaps in communication. LSPs ensure that the message your company is putting out is understood correctly, both in terms of accuracy and cultural relevance. Simply put, LSPs help you reach and engage audiences, no matter where they are, which languages they speak, or what cultures they represent.

A language service provider is an entity that offers services related to languages. An LSP can be an agency, a company, or an individual that has one or a variety of language services on offer. Not every language service provider delivers the same language services. Most LSPs are specialized in a certain range of tasks, usually accompanied by services related to the quality assurance of the same.

Here is an overview of the most important language services:

  • Translation (eg. Translate from English to Vietnamese),
  • Localization (eg. Game, Web UX/UI, Video, …),
  • Transcreation,
  • Proofreading,
  • Revision,
  • Evaluation,
  • Translated segment evaluation,
  • Training in using CAT tools (eg. Trados Studio, XTM Cloud, Phrase, SmartCAT,…),
  • Interpreting (eg. Simultaneous interpretation, Consecutive interpretation​),
  • Language training,
  • Copywriting,
  • Copy editing,
  • Transcription.

When you consider all of these elements—and many full-service LSPs offer all of them—the LSP business is really a sophisticated project management business. When a project is in multiple languages, contains specialized content, such as software code or technical documentation, or requires complex formatting, a full-service LSP may be your best option. It is not unusual for an LSP to manage things like foreign language audio recording or training course formatting. This, in turn, requires access to a stable of vendors who may include native-speaking translators with subject matter expertise.

LSPs are key resources for the global marketplace. The scope of the services provided and the size of the businesses vary widely. They can be small firms specializing in a particular language or subject matter or multinational companies serving other multinational large corporations. It is important to find a good match for your particular volume, specialty, and target languages. Smaller LSPs may offer highly personalized service, while larger LSPs can handle large volumes of content in multiple languages.

In a wider definition, tech and software companies that offer products or services closely related to the language service industry are integral to the LSP ecosystems. This stems from the reality in which new translation management systems, computer-assisted and machine translation solutions, as well as AI and CAT tools, are morphing more and more into turn-key solutions.

These platforms or solutions provide features that bring translators, product managers, localization managers, and revisors together and facilitate the provision of language services.