Who should you hire: Agency, Boutique Agency or a Freelance Translator?

In today’s post I will walk you through the pros and cons of hiring a Translation Agency, a Boutique Agency and a Freelance Translator.

My intention is to help you make an informed decision depending on your currency situation.

  • Translation Agencies:

Translation agencies are language service providers (also known as LSPs) that offer an array of services within the translation industry. Some of the services are Translation, Localization, Editing, Copywriting, Interpreting, Graphic Design and so on.

  • Pros: If you have a large volume of material to be translated in multiple languages, a translation agency will be able to assign your translation to many translators at once. The only thing you need to do is send them your documents for a quote and once you approve it wait for your deliverables at your inbox. 

A translation agency has the capacity for dealing with large clients and the demands and time pressure that comes with tight deadlines. Many of these agencies have offices around the world, which means that the work you send can be done in different time zones, so it never stops.

  • Cons: Because these translation agencies deal with a variety of requests, most of  them coming from large clients, there is no time for much personal involvement with your project. The internal checks can be less thorough than what a Boutique Agency or a Freelance translator would offer you.

When it comes to budget, this is the most expensive route you can take. This is because, large volume of materials to be translated into multiple languages, means more administrative work for the agency and more people involved, project manager, multiple translators, editors and smaller agencies,will be needed to get the job delivered to you.

As you can see, the more people involved, the more it adds to the final cost.

  • Boutique Agencies:

Boutique Agencies as also Language Service Providers, the difference is they specialize or in less fields, such as medical, legal or business translations, for instance, or they specialize in one or two languages.

For example: There are boutique agencies that only specialize in the translation of documents from English into Spanish. This could include all variants of the Spanish language, from European to Colombian and all in between.

  • Pros: Boutique Agencies can offer you a more detailed consultation than a Translation Agency can. They have resources that cover all the variants of the language and are able to provide you with an insight of what will or won’t work in the market that you want to expand.
  • Cons: Boutique Agencies although less expensive than large LSPs, can also be a bit pricey because they are also dealing with a number of people involved in different markets. Even if the language is in essence the same.
  • Freelance Translators:

Are individuals that perform the translation into their native language. They trade as self-employed or under a company’s name.

  • Pros: Freelance translators are highly skilled and educated. It is common to see translators with many advanced degrees from BA to PHD.

They also specialize in one or a handful of subjects such as: medical, legal, business, marketing, travel, media and so on.

Translators can give you a full consultancy about their specialization and the market you are trying to enter. This is because they constantly keep up to date with their specialization by taking many development courses. This bunch, does not stop learning.

They are also the most budget friendly. If you are trying to enter one market only, this will be your best choice.

  •   Cons: Freelance translators have less capacity for taking really large translations at once with a tight deadline.

There are also many scammers around pretending to be translators and Google translating jobs. 

This is not a regulated profession as it is not required to go through a board and pass any exams. Anyone can claim they are the best ninja translator on the market. I am sure you know someone who took a French class once who says that they are able to translate!

To remedy this situation, there are translation associations such as ITI, CIOL and ATA that help serious translators gain professional credentials. Alternatively, you can look for professionals who constantly update their skills, such as having a BA, MA or PHD in translations, languages or in a related field or in the subject matter they specialize in.

I understand that all this information can be overwhelming and perhaps even more confusing. Don’t worry, there is a light in the end of the tunnel and I am here to help you.

Made in Brazil translations can assist you in making the best decision for you and your business. We offer a full consultation guiding you through the whole translation process.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

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