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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.