Benefits of Hiring a Freelance Translator Directly
By Tess Whitty.
When global companies need documents translated, they usually turn to a large agency. For organizations looking for a lot of content in a lot of languages, this can be your best bet. In almost every other circumstance, however, hiring a freelance translator has a lot of benefits. We’ll explore why in detail below.
Nine Ways Freelance Translators are the Better Choice over Translation Agencies
Here are a few unique benefits to choosing a freelance translator over a largescale translation agency.
More Straightforward Communication Means Fewer Misunderstandings
Agency workflows make communication more indirect. Your project manager passes your request onto someone else who ultimately hands it over to a translator. This multi-person process increases the likelihood of miscommunication. With a freelancer, nothing stops you from reaching out directly. It is easier to clarify your needs and wishes directly with the translator, and make sure you both understand each other correctly.
Freelancers Are Almost Always Cheaper
Translation agencies are middlemen in the language services industry. When you hire them, you’re paying for things like administrative staff and project management. The person doing the work often receives a pittance of what’s on the invoice. Hiring a freelance translator directly saves you money, compensates the translator adequately while less money is wasted on administration.
One point of contact and you know who you’re working with
There can be thousands of different translators working for an agency at any one time. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that you’ll end up with a good one, or the same one each time. And, even if you do, you have no way of checking their credentials. That’s not the case with a handpicked translator. To help close sales, they usually put their certifications and portfolios front and center. You can pick the person best suited to your project, and work with the same person during the whole project.
You Can Create Long-Term, Personal Relationships
The Swedish translator who worked on your agency project might not be available next time you come calling. This means that someone new will have to take time to learn your company, to study your content, and to understand your goals. Freelance translators can develop an in-depth understanding of your preferences and your target market. Why waste time retraining if you don’t have to?
You Can Make Sure Translations Get Done by Professional Humans – Not Machines
While machine translators have their place, they’re the crutch supporting many translation juggernauts. With all grammatical inconsistencies and unnatural phrasing, machine translation can seriously hurt your marketing message. Proper multilingual SEO requires professional human translation. With a freelance translator, you can make sure you get a human translator every time.
Freelancer Translators Can Offer a Personalized Service
On a given day, an agency might be juggling hundreds of projects in dozens of different languages. To stop it all from blending into one big mess, they have strict protocols and well-defined product offerings. No one customer justifies a process change. To a freelancer, meanwhile, you’re not just another number and can get the personalized service you deserve.
You Can Get Translators With Deep Expertise and Specialization
While a translation agency might have a translator that specializes in medical or legal translations, you’d struggle to find anything more granular than that. Most agencies profit off of being generalists. They cast a wide net to catch the most fish. Freelance translators, on the other hand, are more targeted in their approach. That means it’s a lot easier to find one with the exact expertise you’re looking for, and that understands your product or service completely.
Consistency Is Better – You Always Get the Same Translator
Agencies often have five or more translators working on a given project—even more if it’s large or urgent. The overabundance of cooks in the kitchen can produce a patchwork effect. Word choice and tone will vary more from section to section than if one specific translator edited the whole thing. Though the editing process helps equalize the two, the switch in providers is still often evident to the keen-eyed.
Professional freelance translators take confidentiality seriously and have a confidentiality clause in their contracts. We are also used to signing and following Non-Disclosure Agreements. One individual freelance translator reduces the risk of leaking confidential information, no additional employees or translators get access to your information.
Ready to Take the Next Step and Hire a Freelance Translator Directly?
Now that you know why a freelancer is often the best choice, it’s time to hire one! To make the experience as smooth as possible, here are also tips for working efficiently with a freelance translator.
If you need Swedish marketing translations, transcreations, or localizations, I would love to help out. I can also refer you to professional colleagues working with other languages. You can fill out my contact form for a quote or visit my online biography to learn more about my qualifications.