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Buyers of language services often focus too closely on their immediate translation and interpreting needs, missing the wider picture – the underlying knowledge that allows the delivery of written and spoken content in multiple languages. But why should buyers and providers care about this short-sightedness?

In a global business environment, enterprises frequently search for specialized skills, talents, and expertise that could already be right at their fingertips from trusted partners – their language services providers. Many exhibit a vast range of business, technical, linguistic, and cultural expertise, which extend beyond translation services priced by the word and day-to-day project management. Explore additional services that your vendors provide or are willing to develop for you. This applies when searching for skills to fit an immediate requirement and when launching a request for proposal or tender. Not all offerings fit into a model priced by the word. Give vendors the opportunity to clearly define services that can help you accelerate your global growth.

Here are examples of specialist services that your language partners may deliver:

  • Marketing content analysis. Consult the experts for data-based advice on the appropriateness of marketing content for global markets. Should you translate, transcreate (a more creative and local-market-focused translation), or copy-write afresh for each target audience? LSPs can advise the best approach.
     
  • Global content architecture and design. Larger multi-language vendors have an overarching view of many businesses’ content design strategies and know the best practices (and worst decisions) for architecting content hierarchies, models, and taxonomies.
     
  • Machine translation strategy. If you are looking for consulting help with MT, remember that LSPs are continuously implementing and working with this technology. They understand very well for which languages and content types it will be most successful. They can also guide you on future-proofing your processes in this area.

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Many LSPS now offer global business expertise that includes content transformation and optimization, marketing solutions, testing services, globalization management, AI and machine learning services, and support for global digital transformation within their portfolios. Follow normal vetting procedures when evaluating suppliers for expanded services. Request examples and case studies and carry out your usual due diligence. You may be happily surprised at how much better they are at filling your global requirements than a marketing agency that focuses mainly on your home market or a multinational consulting firm that is weak when executing in local markets.

About the Author

Alison Toon

Alison Toon

Senior Analyst

Focuses on translation management systems, plus helping CSA Research’s clients gain insights into the technologies, pricing, and business processes key to executive buy-in

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