If you check the Urban Dictionary to learn what LSP stands for, you’ll undoubtedly find Lumpy Space Princess, aka LSP, a bizarre American animated character from the television series, Adventure Time. A search using Wikipedia on the other hand, will give you Louisiana State Police, the Left Socialist Party, Local Strategic Partnership, the Lightest Supersymmetric particles, and even the Launch Services Program, just to name a few.
But we aren’t talking about a character from an American animated television series who hails from an alternate dimension. We’re not talking about politics or law enforcement. And we’re certainly not talking about highly-involved scientific supersymmetric particles – we’re talking about Language Services Providers. And although some of you might think the language services industry does hail from an alternate dimension, the fact is, we all rely on them. You might not realize it because the varying skills and talents of LSPs are hidden in the background, but make no mistake about it – LSPs are bridging the gap between you and the outside world.
In the words of the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA),
Language services providers are highly sought-after professionals in virtually every sector. Whether you work in – or engage in – the legal, financial, software, medical, insurance, tourist, or ecommerce world just to name a few, chances are, you’ve benefitted from the work of language service providers. Although the demand for LSPs may vary from region to region, one thing is for sure – on a global scale, LSPs are in huge demand.
Let’s face it. The world is no longer as simple as it once was. Perhaps it has always been complex, but we weren’t all super connected like we are nowadays, so we could afford to live a simpler life if we so chose. Now, virtually every industry engages on a global scale. Even if some industries didn’t intend for their work to get noticed outside of their own local communities – and certainly not outside their country – the internet has changed all of that. Remember our post on glocalism? All 7 billion of us are connected by the internet, whether we like it or not. From the philanthropic work of your local school district to innovative breakthroughs in medical research, the world is watching, listening, and engaging. Although the language services industry does involve translation services, the industry comprises so much more. LSPs don’t just simply take your words and translate them. Ever hear of lost in translation? We may all be connected by the wonderful world of the internet, but that doesn’t mean that we all understand specific cultural nuances. Sayings in one country likely do not hold the same meaning in another. No. LSPs comprise much more than simply translating words. They are involved in interpreting, machine translation, dubbing, localization, globalization, desktop publishing, consulting, and so much more.
Potter Stewart, a former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States was once quoted as saying,
“Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have the right to do and what is right to do.”
Although a powerful statement, the play on the word right is clearly for the English native speaker and could easily get lost in translation. And what about the medical industry? Ensuring that the scientific research maintains its integrity when sharing the findings in other parts of the world isn’t as simple as a word-for-word translation. In fact, that not only leaves room for misunderstanding, but the very misunderstanding could have dangerous consequences when it comes to advice on our health and wellbeing.
The entertainment industry comprises a whole list of artists, from singers and actors, to comedians and stage performers. The world of entertainment is well known for its use of innuendos, tongue-in-cheek comments, subtleties, and culturally-sensitive commentary. All of this creative genius stands to lose if those in charge feel nothing more is needed to grow one’s audience than simple translation – not that translation is simple by any means, but it is only one piece of the puzzle when conveying a message to a global audience.
Language service providers will ensure that these sensitive topics, nuances, and cultural innuendos aren’t just translated – they’ll enhance the world’s understanding and reflect the creative harmony. LSPs bridge the gap between you and the outside world. With close to 20,000 LSP firms worldwide all working to connect you to the global stage, don’t let your industry’s message get lost in translation.
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