This article intends to clarify the differences among the following terms: translation agency, Translation Company, localization agency and LSP. Although many readers may be familiar with these terms, those less familiar may not have a clear understanding of the terms, especially considering that some of the terms are used interchangeably. Examples of terms used interchangeably are localization and translation. The two terms have different meanings, but the more recently popularized term localization is being used in place of the term translation.


Language service provider (LSP)

Language service providers usually offer a wide range of services that may go beyond mere translation services. You should know that this term might be heard more frequently in conference presentations due to the variety of services provided by LSPs. The term, language service provider is a more contemporary term and is used more frequently than the term translation agency. Both terms refer to agencies that provide numerous services related to translation and linguistic services.


 Translation agency

This term refers to an agency or company that provides translation services. The terms translation agency, localization agency, or Translation Company can all be used to describe the same type of services. If a client requires the management of a translation project or translation services, they may enlist the services of a translation agency. Clients may also seek out a translation agency for interpreter services, desktop publishing (DTP) in multiple languages as well as website and software translation. Other terms used to describe a translation agency are localization agency, language service provider (LSP) and globalization services provider.

The term translation can be defined as follows: the process of converting the meaning of one language to another. Translation consists of communicating the equivalent meaning of one language (or text) into a different language (or text). Translators or translation teams perform translation.



Localization (L10n) refers to the act of ensuring that the marketing plan of a given product is culturally and linguistically appropriate for a specific location. The country, state and language of any given target location are important factors to consider when developing a marketing strategy for a product. Failing to utilize localization may produce negative outcomes for those trying to market to a specific region.

Whatever the level of understanding of the above listed terms, if you want to be successful in an international market, you will find that translation and localization of the products/services you intend to market will be indispensable.  Currently, 50% of large global company’s revenues are generated on the international market. Global companies might be able to improve those revenues if they consider dedicating more of a product’s marketing to the unique requirements of local customers.

Fast-growing, smaller companies that are new to marketing their products overseas can greatly benefit by utilizing localization techniques. A sure way to success for these companies is ensuring that each area’s distinct culture, region, and language are carefully considered in the marketing strategy of their products.

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