What’s an LSP (Language Service Provider)?

Image: A graphic showing a few common LSPs (language service providers) like Gengo, RWS, Lionbridge, TextMaster, and Transperfect

When you’re planning to enter new markets around the world, it’s important to find the right LSP partner to translate your content from English into other languages. Language service providers (LSPs)—also known as translation agencies—are an important part of the localization process.

An LSP is a company that offers translation and linguistic services to other businesses. Services vary based on industry and clientele, but they generally focus on language translation, localization project management, transcreation, and interpretation services.

Let’s take a look at a few popular LSPs and go over some tips for choosing the right one for your localization project.


Popular Language Service Providers (LSPs)

With hundreds of language service providers in the marketplace, choosing the right LSP partnership can be challenging. Read on to explore a few popular LSPs.

Image: Logo of the Gengo LSP

Gengo is a translation company that offers direct translation for more than 50 target languages. According to Gengo’s website, this LSP has over 30,000 translators that passed rigorous language tests before joining their team.

Gengo has industry expertise in localization services and both app and website translation projects. They also emphasize social media translation. Gengo’s clients include top tech companies like Airbnb, YouTube, and Sony.

When it comes to pricing, customer reviews claim that Gengo offers high-quality translations for a very reasonable cost—starting at only $0.06 (USD) per word.

Image: Logo of the TextMaster LSP

TextMaster is an online LSP that provides reliable translations for 50+ different languages. Over 10,000 companies—ranging from multinational corporations to small businesses—trust TextMaster with their translations. Their platform combines CAT (computer-assisted translation) with skilled professional translation.

TextMaster’s primary focus is the SaaS (software as a service) industry. Their subject matter expertise includes SEO, marketing, eCommerce, financial, healthcare, life science, tourism, and more. They’ve translated online content for respected companies like Adobe, Panasonic, and Estee Lauder.

Translation pricing starts at $0.08 (USD) per word. Reviews of TextMaster complimented the affordable price, quick turnaround time, and high quality of translations.

Image: The logo of the RWS Language Service Provider

RWS Translation Services is one of the biggest players in the language services industry. They have 99 offices worldwide and a pool of thousands of translators on staff. They specialize in website localization and globalization strategy. Their tools are compatible with dozens of language groups.

RWS specializes in regulated industries like life sciences, managed healthcare, financial services, and law. RWS also offers phone interpretation, transcription, voice-overs, and subtitling.

RWS has monthly pricing packages for clients of all sizes, ranging from $100.00 to $1,000.00 (USD). According to a review of the company’s file-based translation tools, the software can be a bit complex, but the translations are reliable.

Image: The logo of the Lionbridge LSP

Lionbridge is a large LSP with over 25 years of experience with 2,100 clients all over the world. Lionbridge offers marketing, quality assurance testing, and globalization services for over 350 languages. Like RWS, Lionbridge specializes in multiple industries including legal, tech, eCommerce, and life science.

Lionbridge translations cost about $0.23 (USD) per word. Client reviews mention the easy translation process and the helpful combination of AI and machine learning.

Image: The logo of the Transperfect LSP

Founded in 1992, the Transperfect LSP provides translations to thousands of clients in 170 languages. They focus on website localization, software testing, artificial intelligence, and machine translation. Transperfect’s industry specialties are life sciences, retail, legal, and more.

On average, their translation pricing is about $0.24 (USD) per word—making Transperfect one of the pricier options. Customer reviews complimented Transperfect’s ease of use and error-free translations.


Choosing the Right LSP

Choosing an LSP partner for your translation project is an important decision for a business.

Here are a few questions you should ask any potential LSP.

  • Is the LSP experienced in a unique industry or niche?
    The right LSP should have expertise in translating for your line of work. Translators need to have a good grasp of industry terminology and branding standards.
  • Does the LSP have case studies and testimonials for similar projects?
    Check LSP websites for case studies and projects similar to yours. You’ll want to choose someone with demonstrated expertise translating websites or apps.
  • Does the LSP integrate smoothly with a translation management system (TMS)?
    Most importantly, you should find an LSP that integrates with your TMS. Without this integration, publishing and managing translations will be a cumbersome and costly process.

The Localize Advantage

Localize is a cutting-edge translation management system (TMS) that integrates with popular LSPs like Gengo, TextMasters, and more. Our translation technology uses automation to manage your workflows. Best of all, Localize works with your existing tech stack.

Contact the team at Localize to discuss how we can help you craft a seamless translation workflow.

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