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[en] We consider the stimulated Raman transition between two long-lived states via multiple intermediate states, such as between hyperfine ground states in the alkali-metal atoms. We present a concise treatment of the general, multilevel, off-resonant case, and we show how the lightshift emerges naturally in this approach. We illustrate our results by application to alkali-metal atoms and we make specific reference to cesium. We comment on some artifacts, due solely to the geometrical overlap of states, which are relevant to existing experiments.