Language Metadata (LMT) help localization

The world of media and entertainment is huge to say the least. One part of it is the language and translation process, which means that with so much content being created so quickly, there’s an increased need for standardization related to translations across various regions. A series in the US, for example, will need to be translated into various Asian languages to see success and the opposite is also true for series from South Korea for example. But there are many challenges in terms of managing hundreds if not thousands of documents and files and storing localized versions of those assets and retrieving them at a later stage. This is why the Language Metadata Table (LMT) was born in order to help professional localization.

What is LMT?

Media localization is probably one of the most asset-heavy segments of the language industry, where audio, video, and graphics files are routine practice. However, the more languages and language variants required for a movie or a series, “the harder it is for the organization handling the content to ensure that files are named correctly and consistently.” Enter the LMT.

The main purpose of the LMT is the following:

  • 1. “To create a standardized table of language codes for implementation by entertainment and other industries using IETF BCP 47.
  • 2. To facilitate efficient and consistent LMT usage through best practices.
  • 3. To extend LMT code values through vetted field definitions and approved language code values with a community of thought leaders who focus on information and data from the business, professional associations, and academic institutions through the exchange of knowledge and collaboration.”
    Ultimately, the LMT is a table with 17 specific and different fields.
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It was first created in 2017, was championed by founder Yonah Levenson, Metadata Strategy and Terminology Governance at Warner Media, and was a result of collaborative efforts by representatives from some of the world’s largest entertainment companies — Warner Bros., Disney, Sony Pictures, Fox, NBCUniversal and more, who “joined forces in a Working Group to curate and develop the LMT.”

How it’s used in the industry

localizationThe LMT features more than 200 language codes and the 17 fields are:

  3. Descriptor
  5. Language Group Name
  6. Language Group Tag
  7. Language Group Code
  8. Audio Language Tag
  9. Long Description 1
  10. Long Description 2
  11. Audio Language Display Name 1
  12. Audio Language Display Name 2
  13. Visual Language Tag 1
  14. Visual Language Tag 2
  15. Visual Language Display Name 1
  16. Visual Language Display Name 2
  17. Code

It is therefore used in the industry to standardize multiple language versions in a single document. This tool helps translators and those involved in localization create more accurate and focused content in the target language. With so much media data and content on the market today, this is a crucial element that’s seeing an uptake by those outside the media and entertainment industry, as well.

LMT benefits

The benefits of the LMT are the improved standardization and collation of multiple languages into a single table for a specific media or entertainment file. This makes storing and retrieving information at a later stage much more efficient and effective. It is also an effective localization tool, which helps translators translate content into the target language without losing the original nuances of the target language and still being able to convey the main message across in the desired target language.

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In essence, working with a single table where language entries are input can help translators and language localizers to ensure smooth continuity across multiple files. This continuity is an excellent way of ensuring standardization across such audio, visual, and text files. In terms of localization, the information in the tables helps keep translators on track with more efficient localization of the data. This means that what you watch in the US can, with relative simplicity now, be localized into Thai or any other language for that matter, thereby ensuring that the main message of the media content is conveyed and portrayed accurately in the target language.