Agency or freelance translator?

When you are looking for a new translator you are often in the dilemma of choosing a freelance translator or a translation agency.

Usually a freelance translator is chosen for the most convenient rates or because you have fewer requirements in terms of number of languages ​​and the amount of documents to translate.

If you have more than one language and large amounts of documents to translate, you should carefully consider the benefits offered by a continuous collaboration with a translation agency.

Work volume

On average, a professional freelance translator can translate about 10 pages a day. An agency having several translators available can reach a much higher number.
A typical case is a team of 5 translators working on the same project, that can produce up to 150 pages on a business day.

Languages

A professional freelance translator translates normally only into his native language. An agency has professional translators in dozens of different languages.

Expertise areas

A professional freelance translator usually has one or two expertise areas. An agency can offer a wide range of expertise areas in both technical and scientific fields.

Quality checks

A professional freelance translator usually performs a single proofreading of their translation. An agency has a team of internal and external proofreaders.

Management costs

One last thing to not underestimate is the management costs when you have more freelance translators to handle:

first, you have to contact your freelancer to check his availability. As he is a freelancer it could happen that he has no time available to meet your deadlines.

Then during the translation, it may happen that the translator needs to ask queries about the text to translate, so you need to provide the necessary clarifications to complete the translation.

Furthermore at the end of the job, you will receive the translated document, that needs to be reviewed and proofread it by an internal employee that knows both the language and the expertise area of the document.

Finally, the translator will send you his invoice that you will have to forward to your administration department, which in turn will have to register it, and pay both the invoice and taxes if necessary.

All these steps must be multiplied by the number of freelance translators you work with.

With a translation agency, all these steps are done only once, which is an obvious saving of time and money!