Freelancers vs. Translation Companies

Translation goes beyond just converting words from one language to another. It bridges the linguistic and cultural gaps that exist between two languages. As such, only seasoned freelancers and professional translation companies can provide high quality translation services. When you need simple translation of words from one language to another, Google Translate and such online tools would do the trick. However, when your translation project is important and relates to your business or profession and you require quality translation, hiring a freelancer or a translation company is your safest bet. The million dollar question then is, who should you choose: a freelancer or a translation company?

There are distinct differences between the translation services provided by a freelancer and those provided by translation companies. Some of the most pertinent factors to consider before deciding to settle for a freelancer include:-

  • Complexity of the translation work
  • Qualifications of the translator
  • Reliability of the translator
  • Productivity of the translator
  • Fees charged by the translator

Complexity of the Translation Work

The rule of thumb is that the more complex the translation work, the more suited the work is for translation companies. Technical translation projects such as translation of medical prescriptions, engineering user manuals and legal documents are often very complex compared to translation projects entailing translation of entertainment news articles. Complex translation assignments need to be translated by translators with sufficient subject matter knowledge and a wealth of technical glossaries and translation memories. Most often than not, good translation companies have such translators and such reference tools. It is difficult to find sole freelancers with the exact subject matter knowledge and experience you require.

Qualifications of the Translator

Professional translators, just like any other professionals possess competency indicators. Competency indicators include undergraduate degrees in languages and related disciplines. Most translation companies invest heavily in the education, professional training and certification of their translators. Freelance translators on the other hand are less likely to have both professional and technical training. For those that have such qualifications, they normally demand very high fees.

Reliability of the Translator

Experience and the quality of translation work successfully delivered are some of the indicators of how a translator would be. Experienced translators and those who have successfully delivered on high profile translation projects are more likely to be reliable than those who are inexperienced and those who have not delivered big ticket translation projects. Freelancing sites such as Elance.com have portfolio sections where freelancers can display their experience and examples of translation projects they have handled. Unfortunately, not all freelance translators use sites such as Elance.com and it is hence difficult to perform background checks on them. On the other hand, it is relatively easier to find out the experience and projects handled by translation companies.

Capacity of the Translator

Translation companies usually have a higher capacity to provide translation services compared to freelance translators. This is because most of them have in-house teams of project managers complete with native translators, quality assurance staff and subject matter experts. Most translation companies often have different arms that specialize in providing translation and localization services to a wide range of industries and sectors. Freelance translators on the other hand are more likely to have specialized only in the translation and localization of a particular industry and hence lack capacity to handle various translation projects.

Fees Charged by the Translator

The fees charged by the translator should be the last factor to consider especially if you are seeking high quality translations. Freelance translators are often more competitive in the pricing of their translation services compared to translation companies. You should however consider the fees charged after you are satisfied by the other factors above.

EuroLingo is quite rightly your gate to Eastern Europe as far as translation services and localization services are concerned. Since 2004, EuroLingo has been serving customers from all over Europe, United States and the Far East. The experienced translators at EuroLingo have experience translating English and German to all Central and Eastern European languages. To get a good quote from EuroLingo, visit their website at: www.euro-lingo.com

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We have been working with Eurolingo on usual basis for many years as our partner for technical translations of different areas (automotive, energy, machinery or general engineering) into different languages, as for example Polish, Romanian, Czech, Bulgarian or Hungarian.

Eurolingo has widely demonstrated to be very professional and a reliable collaborator for quality translations.

Eva Elizondo
Bertelsmann

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