Curious whether to opt for a freelance translator ortranslation agencies? Read on to explore the pros and cons of each translation service provider.
There are many reasons to choose working with an agency over a freelance translator, or vice versa.
Right off the bat, freelance translators tend to be cheaper. Additionally, many organizations like the idea of working with individual translators because it feels easier to build a personal relationship.
The trouble with freelance translators isn’t that there aren’t any. It’s that there are so many translators that unless you know the translation industry inside and out, it can be incredibly tough sourcing qualified and experienced translators you can trust.
This is where agencies come in. With thousands of personally vetted and industry-experienced translators already in-network, agencies cut through the time and money you’d otherwise spend on finding your translators. As industry experts, translation agencies are better suited to hear your needs and quickly select the best translator for you.
1. Quality Assurance in Recruiting the Right Translator
The first step in any translation service is finding a translator, which usually isn’t that difficult. But finding a qualified translator with the proper accreditations, localization skills, and industry-specific experience is a whole other ball game. And when you’re pressed for time, checking references and vetting translators just isn’t always possible.
Translation agencies provide peace of mind by finding not just any translator, but the right translator for your job. With thousands of vetted in-network translators, agencies like ours select the best translators so your projects go off pitch perfect.
When selecting the best suited translator for your needs, agencies assess many variables. These variables include: the level of industry-specific experience, localization, and accreditation your project translator needs.
2. Industry-Specific Experience
If your translation doesn’t involve specialized vocabulary, most translators worth their salt should be able to deliver an accurate translation. But with industry-specific terminology beyond the scope of native fluency, it’s essential to find someone experienced in your industry.
Whether that experience is hands-on from a past career or degree in the field, or past translation work – working with a translator who doesn’t have to hit the dictionary every time a niche word comes up is vital.
Plus, with freelancers you’re unable to verify accuracy in case they mistranslated a word they didn’t realize was jargon. You can always hire another translator as proofreader, but again – they should have industry experience to spot mistranslated jargon.
Industries that often benefit from industry-experienced translators include: Automobile, Engineering, Aerospace, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Healthcare.
Localization is “the process of making something local in character or restricting it to a certain place.” Business further defines localization as “the process of adapting a… service to make it suitable for a new area.” The same goes for localization in translation.
Translation focuses on direct word-for-word communication of meaning from one language to another.
Localization tailors the translation within that language so it’s compelling for specific audiences. Translators who provide localization must have an extensive understanding of region-specific dialects, grammar, slang, and idioms to best match your translated content to its specific audience.
If you’re operating on an international scale, localization helps in adjusting your product to match each audience’s culture. Agencies can be particularly helpful if you’re operating on a global scale, saving you the time you’d otherwise spend vetting one translator at a time for each language need. Because they’re already connected to a vetted network of translators, agencies source quality translators for you in half the time.
Projects benefiting from localization include: global marketing & advertising campaigns, technical instruction manuals, customer service platforms, books, video captions, subtitles.
Depending on your industry, you might legally require or benefit from having a certified translator. You can learn more about translation certifications here.
Accreditation isn’t always necessary and isn’t the only defining feature of quality interpreters. Experienced and qualified interpreters may choose to opt-out of certification for reasons like cost or industry mismatch.
However, if you’re looking for a legal or medical translator, certification is almost always a must.
Once you determine whether you need a certified translator, your next step is determining what type of accreditation they need. Because certification requirements vary from state to state, sourcing translators qualified for your projects can present a challenge.
Alternatively, agencies guide the entire process, listening to your needs and assessing the necessary qualifications for your translator.
Industries that often require certified translators include: legal (depositions, trials), medical (check-ups, exams, post-op, and pharmaceutical-related instructions), government agencies (services that require a high degree of accuracy and specificity)
5. Translator Turn-Around Time
When you work with freelance translators, they fit your project into their schedule where they can. This means turn-around times are often slower, as translators must balance all their clients and projects.
On the other hand, agencies find interpreters who can work around your schedule and deliver translations based on your timelines. Because they handle scheduling themselves, agencies can find translators who deliver work based on your timeline rather than on theirs.
With thousands of freelance translators, sourcing translation providers qualified to meet the evolving needs of your business can be challenging. Agencies take the guesswork out of finding the best translators to make your unique project a success.
And that’s our mission at Arriva Translations. With over 5,000 translators and interpreters in our network qualified in 200+ unique languages and dialects, we at Arriva Translations pride ourselves in offering bespoke, top-of-the-line, white-glove translation and interpretation services to clients in the legal, financial, and medical industries.
Reach out to schedule your interpreter today – We’re excited to meet you!