Welcoming the World to the Empire State Building

Every year, more than 4 million people visit the Empire State Building in New York City. Professional services firm and real estate specialists, JLL have been undertaking a $150 million multi-phase renovation of the landmark location for The Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT). JLL, on behalf of ESRT selected LEAP to provide language and culture services for the Empire State Building.

The completion of the Grand Lobby and new Observatory entrance mark the end of the first phase of renovation. The reimagined Observatory has recently opened to the public, introducing multi-media exhibits and visitor information for fans of New York’s top tourist attraction. Working closely with Thinc, the experience designers and Squint-Opera, the media designers, LEAP Language and Culture provided centrally-managed translationtranscreationcross-cultural consultancy and even in-situ QC checks to ensure that the attraction would truly welcome and inform visitors in their native languages.

The new lobby features Art Deco-inspired, self-service ticketing kiosks in nine languages — English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Mandarin, Portuguese, Japanese and Korean. Interactive host screens with video subtitles allow international visitors to enjoy personal anecdotes and insider tips shared in interviews with long-time members of ESB’s staff. Multi-language, digital directional signage facilitates exploration. The galleries and other displays also include translations of descriptions, facts and stories about the iconic building, and there are even multi-language descriptions of the dining experiences available to guests.


Our London-based team of account managers ensured that the transcreation process would run smoothly. We harnessed our global network of talent including specialist copywriters in the hospitality and tourism sector as well as cross-cultural consultants with expertise in strategic planning and travel blogging. This enabled us to provide locally translated messaging that would convey the meaning and tone of the English language original while using the expressions and styles that would resonate with international visitors.

The centrally-managed transcreation process unified translations and recommendations from multiple sources across the languages. We were thus able to align brand messaging to ensure a consistent experience for all target audiences, while remaining sensitive and considerate of cultural nuances.

LEAP Language and Culture have been supporting the brand since the spring of 2018. We are excited to play our part in creating an enjoyable experience for international guests visiting the world’s most famous building.

Looking for language services to help your brand speak to international audiences?

Get in touch with our Transcreation Account Managers.

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