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Translation bureaus or the services of private translators - how to choose?

12.04.2012

Translation bureaus or the services of private translators - how to choose?

Translation services refer to both translators practising privately, and translation bureau (translation agencies). Who is the best employee? First we shall define, who is who.

Translators practising privately ("freelancers")

The translator ("freelancer") - the professional offering services of translation for various customers. This will be self-employed person. As a rule, the translator has a specialization in a certain kind of translation (for example, technical translations, the translation of legal texts or oral translation).

Translation bureau (translation agency)

A translation bureau (or translation agency) - a company carrying out the distribution of orders between translators and also supervising the quality of executed translations. In a translation bureau you can order a translation of any level of complexity and any variety. The translation agency cooperates with a lot of translators and will engage the best employee to carry out your order to the best quality.
Both variants have advantages.

Principal arguments for a choice of the translator - "freelancer" are the following:

  • You explain the task to executor directly.
  • You know the person, who is rendering to you services of translation, and, who is responsible for the translation quality. However you can check up on translation quality only if you know the language.
  • You can always find a translator who will execute the translation more cheaply than a translation bureau (but translation quality is not guaranteed!).
  • When contacting the translator, communicate the details of your work and find out, whether he (or she) has carried out translations of that type before, how frequently and with what result.
  • Using the translator, it is necessary to take into account - even if he (or she) does not work anywhere else, that the productivity of such translation will be no more than 8 - 9 pages per day. Naturally, additional services (editing or styling), as a rule, are absent.
  • Advantages of translation bureaus are:

  • Flexibility and effective management. The translation bureaus render additional services often also, in particular - computer page layout, editing, notary assurance of documents by a notary, etc.
  • High skill level of the translators familiar with special terminology, necessary for technical translations, legal translations, translations of scientific and other texts. The translation bureau cooperates with a lot of translators, and therefore can always choose the professional for a specific task.
  • Performance of translations of texts and documents of any complexity.
  • You can order the translation of any subject.
  • Opportunity of working with projects of great volume due to the possibility of using additional translators. Translation bureaus often have computerized systems allowing for the teamwork of many translators simultaneously.
  • Reduction (in comparison with the "freelancer") of terms. The agency of translations can execute urgent translations - literally the next day - even if the volume of the material is very large.
  • To check up on the reputation of a translation bureau is much easier than of a translator.
  • Final argument in favour of translation bureau

    There is an opinion, that a translation bureau is no more than an intermediate party between the customer and the translator. But we already know is incorrect. The translation bureau is an important link between customer and translator: it carries out the selection of translators and the checking of their professionalism, the distribution of orders and control of their qualitative and timely execution.
    As you can see there are more than enough reasons to translate texts in a translation bureau.


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