Freelance Translator or Translation Agency?

Sometimes it gets difficult for the clients to choose between an agency and a freelancer, as both of the options are coming with some advantages as well as disadvantages. Some key things that are considered by the clients in need of translation are budget, required number of languages, timeframe and quality of work. Depending upon these considerations, mentioned below are some advantages and disadvantages of both Freelance Translation and Translation Agency.

  • The budget

The budget of a freelance translator is comparatively low as compared to an agency rate, sometimes it is as low as half. In fact, the translation agencies are taking the services of freelance translators, if a project is assigned to an agency, that agency search for their list of freelance translators and then will outsource the translation task. The agencies keep their margin of profit from the charged amount and set a fixed rate for their freelance translators.

The agency actually pays their own bills, rent and other costs from the difference between these rates. This shows how much one can save if he gets directly in touch with a translator. Although, there are some other elements that need to be considered while selecting a freelance translator.

  • Required number of Languages

Sometimes the requirement is to translate the text into multiple languages, in such case the best option is a freelance translator. But the issue is that it is very difficult to find a freelancer who can translate into multiple languages. The freelancers usually masters in one language and might be lying about having command over more than one language.

It must be very clear in mind that the person who can speak a language is able to do the translation. Take an example of a person who is French and can speak Italian and Spanish, he masters in French and not necessarily excels in Spanish and Italian. The key is to find a translator who translates into his mother tongue.

If one wants to translate a text into multiple languages, a Translation Agency would be the best option as they get the task done from their various translators.  This helps in the avoiding the efforts of surfing multiple translators for one job.  The agencies usually contact different translators as per the language option and saves a lot of time.

  • Timeframe available

If you are in a hurry and is lacking time, then you must go for an agency as they have list of translators, proofreaders available for them and saves a lot of your time in completing the task. On the other hand, a freelance translator has to do all the tasks by himself so he may take longer to complete the task. Sometimes, you may get a chance to find a freelance translator on an hourly basis, you offer some extra charges and he completes the task for you.

The agencies have the capabilities of completing multiple projects in one time and meeting deadlines way earlier than a freelancer. The most important job would then be searching for an efficient  agency and relax.

  • Quality of work

The quality of the work depends on the translator, it is however not confirm that the agencies provide a quality work. Usually agencies have ample projects in the pipeline and they usually do not have much time to check each and every page of the translator.

The freelancers mostly provide a better quality of work and accuracy in their translation projects. Another advantage of freelance translator is they get into deal with you directly and are open for feedback and changes required if any.

All in all, you can choose between a freelance translator or a Translation agency depending on the business requirement. Both have some advantages and disadvantages, but the key point here is to search for the best possible option as per needs.

7 Comments

  1. James Neese says:

    Always when I’m in need of a translation quickly for my documents, I use the website called “Smartlation”. I can’t see any price different between Smartlation and other freelancers.

  2. Maureen says:

    Where is the best place to get a fast translation for a medium-sized business? I also looked at a site called Smartlation.com, and for me I think it would be well worth the money to get a professional translation job from a company that facilitates the translation work.

  3. Jane says:

    I could not refrain from commenting. Very well written!

  4. Jack says:

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  5. Perry says:

    I’m glad I found your article. I would never have made sense of this topic on my
    own. I’ve read several other articles on this topic, however I was baffled until
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  6. Nathan Cowell says:

    These are all great factors to remember when choosing a translator. Especially when deciding between a service and a freelancer.

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