It is common practice for businesses to hire a language service provider (LSP) when they require a translation. But there are many different types of LSPs nowadays, and it might be confusing for some as to which ones to choose. In particular, a lot of people are trying to decide between a single language vendor (SLV) and a multi-language vendor (MLV). But what’s the difference between SLV and MLV, anyway? That is exactly what we are going to talk about today.
From their names alone, you can already have a fairly good idea of the major difference between SLV and MLV. An SLV offers language services in just one language combination. These are usually individual freelancers that are fluent in two languages and thus are qualified to provide translation services between these two languages.
Most SLVs focus on common language services like translation, localization, editing and proofreading. There are also those that offer project management, file preparation, desktop publishing, and so on.
An MLV, on the other hand, is usually a company that offers language services across a wide range of languages. They can provide this service because they have a pool of linguistic experts that each has their own language specializations.
The specific services offered by an MLV are not that different from those provided by an SLV. Translation and localization, in particular, are among the most in-demand services. But an MLV can provide these services in many more languages.
In addition to the primary difference between these two kinds of LSPs, there are also other, more subtle disparities between the two that you need to understand so that you can make the better choice for your requirements.
An MLV, on the other hand, is usually a company that offers language services across a wide range of languages.
For starters, there is no fixed answer as to which particular LSP is better. Both the SLV and the MLV have their own unique selling points. The decision on which one to pick will depend on a variety of factors. In some cases, an SLV will be better. For others, partnering with an MLV might be a better decision.
Since they are actually very different and cater to different clients and project types, it is really not that difficult to pick between an SLV and an MLV.
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Single language vendors are generally smaller companies, and sometimes even just individual freelance providers, that have a high fluency in a specific language pair. Because of the small size and simplicity of their organization, they can charge a lot less than the bigger language providers. This is certainly a good thing for clients that are on a tight budget.
An SLV is also the better choice if you are looking for a more personal approach and a thoroughly customized service. Again because of their small size, the teams within an SLV are more closely knit and are usually very much in sync with each other while working on projects. This kind of working environment makes for faster service and higher quality output.
Also, if localization is one of your top priorities, an SLV that is based in a location where the native tongue is the target language will give you a massive advantage. Chances are that the provider assigned to you will also have a complete understanding of the local culture and language nuances.
SLVs are also known to build lasting partnerships. If you expect to be needing translations only in a specific language pair, you can choose a reliable SLV and establish a strong working relationship with them, which could result in much better service over time.
Since an MLV is bigger, the cost is often higher as well. However, working with an MLV does come with its own perks. For instance, if you require multiple translations into several different languages, it would be better to choose an MLV instead of finding many specialist SLVs for all the languages you require.
For one thing, hiring an MLV will save you time because once you find one, you can rely on them to handle all your linguistic requirements. Also, it will give you some consistency across your various translations. If you hire several SLVs, there could be a high level of discrepancy in terms of quality and style. This might not be good for the overall reputation of your business.
If you are on a tight deadline, an MLV can also finish the job with a much faster turnaround. These are usually very large companies. If you have a large translation project and a tight deadline, for instance, the project manager can distribute the work to several translators. They can work concurrently and deliver the output very quickly.
For one thing, hiring an MLV will save you time because once you find one, you can rely on them to handle all your linguistic requirements.
Now that the difference between SLV and MLV is clear, it will be much easier to choose the right language service provider for your next translation requirement. But no matter which provider you think will deliver better results, it is crucial that you pick a provider that has a proven track record of providing only the highest quality of linguistic services, as we do here at Circle Translations. We can give you the best of both worlds. When you hire us, you can experience the world-class and completely professional service of an MLV combined with the customization and hands-on service that only an SLV can give. Try our services and see the difference for yourself.
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