Why to Choose a Freelancer over an Agency

As you might have read on the About page, this blog is kind of self-promotion of my freelance translation business and part of my “massive attack” on social media. But before I really start describing my experience of going social I wish to say a couple of words about the benefits of hiring a freelance translator. 

Direct contact – this is what you never can get from a translation agency. You may be in contact with a translation project manager, translation process supervisor, chief translation general officer or whatever these people may call themselves, but you never get in touch with a person that really translates your stuff.

If you hire a freelancer you’re talking exactly to that person who will take care of your assignment, You can clearly explain what you want and need, you can consult with her/him any aspect of the translation job, including proper terminology, style, and so on, and you can be nearly hundred percent sure that at the end of the day, you get what you want.

Sure, you can do the same with an agency, too. However, before the message gets through all the different levels of project managers, translation coordinators, terminology supervisors and God knows who else to the final recipient, that is, the translator, the information is so diluted you will hardly recognise it. Then, when an issue with the translation arises, the translator must communicate it to the agency staff, they forward it back to you, you provide your comment and it goes back to the translator once again. This might repeat several times, which is really time consuming.

With a freelancer, you get none of that lengthy communication suffering. It’s all straightforward and clear, which saves time. And as we all know, time is money.

Consistent terminology – once you have established long-term cooperation with your “tamed” freelancer to your mutual satisfaction, consistent terminology within and across individual texts is guaranteed. If texts concern similar or the same domain, theme, topic, field of expertise, you can be sure the language of the translation will always be the same, because the freelancer has built up the necessary glossaries and translation memories to help him/her.

Agencies, too, build up their terminology bases, glossaries and TMs, and I’ve no doubt their excellent. The problem is they usually do not assign similar translation projects to the same person or, in the case of larger jobs, they divide them among several translators. And here comes the tricky bit. Even though translators may have all that fancy stuff at their disposal, there’s always a risk they don’t use it as they should. Or they can ignore it at all because they think they know better than that. Moreover, their writing styles definitely differ and after the individual pieces are glued together, the whole thing might not read that well. What’s even more alarming, the quality of translators’ output can never be on the same level.

Of course, there are quality assurance managers to remove such flaws but again, it costs time, it costs money and the final result does not necessarily have to be perfect.

Better pricing – this one is clear. A freelancer can offer a better price for the same or even better quality. The reason is simple, he/she doesn’t have to make money for translation project managers, translation process supervisors, chief translation general officers, quality assurance managers, office assistants, the director, the agency owner, the agency owner’s wife, the agency owner’s wife’s dog …

These are just a few benefits of hiring a freelance translator but to be objective I must admit it can also have a couple of drawbacks. Those, however, I will keep to myself.

Well then, if you like what you’ve just read and you’re in need of an excellent, fast and reliable translator/proofreader, just let me know. And don’t forget to check out my website at www.prekladydontom.com or like my facebook page or follow on twitter.

PS. Just to make sure, I hold nothing against translation agencies. In fact, I quite often work for them. These are just a few hints to help you if you’re deciding between hiring a freelance translation professional or a translation agency.


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