If you’re a multinational company seeking translation and localization services for dozens of languages, then this article is not for you. The logistics needed by such large projects can be effectively handled by large translation agencies. But if you are a small or medium enterprise looking to translate your content into several languages, choosing a freelance professional or a small translation shop might actually be a good idea. Here’s why:
1. You can have better control over the outcome and be more closely involved in the process
When you have too many intermediaries involved in the translation process, it is more difficult to handle the communication process with the actual translator simply because things get „lost in translation”. Reversely, being able to establish a direct contact with the translator will help solve translation issues more effectively on the one hand, and obtain a target text truly suited to your needs on the other hand.
2. The revision of the target text will be more thorough
Big translation agencies usually implement a good quality management process. However, their anonymous approach to revision and proofreading (the original translator doesn’t know who is performing the revision/proofreading) may have „side effects”. This may be partly due to the perception that the proofreader’s main role is to assess the original translator, and since assessing a text is a subjective activity, sometimes unnecessary changes may be implemented. Judging the necessity of changes can be hard for a project manager who doesn’t speak the target language, which means that a third party might get involved and things can get a bit complicated.
But if the translator and proofreader know each other and collaborate, they know that they should focus on the quality of the target text. The aim of the revision process is to obtain the best possible end result.
3. It’s cheaper
You won’t have the middleman involved, which means you can save a couple of bucks. Even if you need a team of freelance translators, you won’t have to pay extra, because they don’t usually charge a commission.
4. Freelance translators have excellent networking skills
If you need your content translated to multiple languages, freelance translators can always find colleagues eager to take on work. And their collaboration will be smooth and efficient.
5. Better consistency throughout projects
Working with the same translator will help you to achieve a better intertextual consistency. Although translation memories help maintaining a good level of consistency for your texts regardless of the number and identity of translators involved, having the same one or two translators work on your accounts will clearly ensure a higher degree of cohesion.
6. Better terminology management
Again, having the same person work on your projects will enhance terminology consistency. Besides terminology tools, your translator will also rely on their memory, thus being able to choose the right term according to context. In addition, terminology can be negotiated directly with the translator.
7. You would be supporting a healthy business environment
By choosing to collaborate with a freelance translator or a small agency you will invest in a sustainable and healthy business model. Instead of focusing solely on profits and cost-cutting, freelancers are really passionate about their jobs and their main aim is to do their job really well. They will also be highly motivated to maintain a good relationship with direct clients.
8. You always know who is responsible for the quality of the target text
You always know who to blame if things go wrong. Which means that the translator will always try to provide the best services. It is their reputation at stakes after all.
9. It’s faster
Having less people involved in the process, the communication will be quicker. You get to talk and negotiate directly with the lead translator. Upon completion of the task, after the translation underwent revision, the translator will forward the completed job directly to you. Thus, you might be saving some precious time.
10. Because… you can
It is very easy nowadays to find freelance translators for all language combination. Most of them have a webpage, a social media page or a blog. You can easily search and perform a thorough selection based on their expertise and the services they can offer.