Is your company looking to expand into a new country, where you don’t know the local language and aren’t familiar with the culture and preferences of your target audience? Then you’ll need to hire translators for work correspondence, sales and marketing materials, contracts and much more.
The Need for Accuracy and Cultural Awareness
If your company’s considering a move onto the global market, you’ll need to have your marketing materials translated into the local language in order to reach your targeted audience. The translation of these materials comes with a heavy responsibility. The need for accuracy is high; it takes time for your company’s name to become a brand, time for the material to impact the local culture and penetrate the new market.
Should You Hire a Freelance Translator or a Translation Company?
So, who should you hire? You’ll find any number of freelance translators and translation companies, but who you choose? Is it best to go with a freelancer or a translation company? You may be facing budget constraints and want to find the best possible quote for translation and localization services. Even so, you need to remember accuracy and cultural awareness are important for all your marketing materials.
Who’s best for your project? Let’s take a look at some of the differences between translation companies and freelance translators.
Differences Between Translation Companies and Freelance Translators
There are some differences you’ll need to be aware of between the services, focus, etc. offered by freelance translators and translation companies.
Freelance translators are typically on their own and must deal with all areas of their business. As a result, their focus is divided between the work of translation, sales, accounting, follow-up with clients and improvement of their skills.
As solo business owners, they may lack a backup plan in case of an emergency, which can affect their quality of work and deadlines. While they may offer excellent services, freelance translators have only their own skills and abilities to check their work for accuracy and quality.
Other aspects to consider with a freelance translator is the quantity of work they can handle, time factors and communication. With a freelancer working alone, they are not able to take on a large number of projects—big or small. They are constrained for time due to the need to personally tend all aspects of their business, including imperative communications with clients.
A translation company, on the other hand, has specific departments to handle the work, style guidelines to handle all types of text for websites, along with a stable and proven process for their work. You’ll also be gaining a large team that handles all aspects of your project. The team usually has a backup plan to handle any emergencies with your project and help to meet all important deadlines.
Another aspect that makes translation companies different is their access to the latest technology and resources to ensure a high standard and high quality of all your translated materials. In addition, they are able to handle numerous projects of all sizes and work in different languages, due to their team of translators that specializes in more than one language. You may also find the company not only works across a number of different languages, but that they also are able to work in different industries.
Communication may be faster and easier with a translation company, as many translation companies have project managers that coordinate all aspects of your project with the translating team.
Additional Reasons to Choose a Translation Agency
There are additional reasons to choose a translation agency, rather than a freelance translator. A translation company will be more likely to follow industry best practices when it comes to the quality of their work. You’ll also find a better system of checks and balances in a translation company with a team of translators to guarantee the accuracy and consistency of all their projects.
A professional translation company not only offers consistency and accuracy, but they are also more likely to ensure projects are delivered on time and on budget. Professional companies may also carry insurance that protects you and your materials from potential legal concerns.
How About Project Costs?
You may consider hiring a freelance translator to save money on your project. But did you know, larger translation companies can take on large quantities of work and offer competitive prices, too? These companies may be able to offer even lower prices than freelancers, while offering a higher quality product.
As previously mentioned, a freelance translator may specialize in one area, for example, in science, law or a specific industry, etc. On the other hand, a translation company can typically offer a team of translators, with knowledge and expertise in many fields and industries.
Working with a freelance translator can be good if you have a short-term, urgent project that has very specific parameters. However, working with a large translation company is better protection for your company and your brand. Plus, your project will be handled by a team of professionals, ready to do what’s needed at each step of the translation project.