Translation is a profession that has a history of freelancing, long before the internet enabled workers across a huge range of other sectors to start selling their skills this way. Of course, the internet has helped massively in this respect, with freelance translators able to market everything from video translation services to blog translation quickly and easily.
The rise of online marketplace platforms has given freelance translators an easy way to advertise their skills. It has also provided companies with an easy means of finding the perfect translator to meet their requirements, from the language pairing on offer to any specialist skills and knowledge that they might need. As such, we’ve rounded up five of the best online platforms that connect businesses with freelance translation professionals.
Naturally, we’ll start with Tomedes! We work hard to be the best online source of freelance translation professionals and cover over 90 language pairings. We match our translators’ specialist skills to our clients’ needs in order to deliver the best quality translations.
Why it works for translators: Tomedes provides translators with an easy-to-use platform that gives them access to a vast range of translation jobs, with dedicated managers to support the whole process.
Why it works for translation clients: Clients have a translation manager who is available to answer anything and everything about the translation process, plus access to a huge number of highly skilled translators. The client saves time by not having to interview any of the translators themselves, as well as benefitting from using translators whose quality has been rigorously assessed.
ProZ is one of the oldest online platforms dedicated to connecting clients with translators and translation companies. The site claims to serve the world’s largest community of translators, allowing them to outsource and accept translation work and interpreting work.
Why it works for translators: As a well-established site, ProZ offers great potential exposure to translation clients from around the world, although the competition can be tough – searching for an English to French translator, for example, results in 27,187 total profiles for natives of the target language.
Why it works for translation clients: Clients have access to a vast range of translators, all through one easy-to-use platform. However, the sheer volume of translators available can be off-putting for those who don’t want to spend time sieving through hundreds of profiles. The fact that payment has to be arranged directly with each translator, rather than with any management or support from ProZ also has the potential to cause frustration.
Upwork is the world’s largest online marketplace. It offers a huge array of freelance services, including translation and interpretation. At the time of writing, a search for ‘translation’ resulted in 5,335 job listings, while a search for ‘interpretation’ resulted in 367.
Why it works for translators: Upwork is easy to use and has a huge range of available jobs on it. The payment system is also easy to use, while the Time Tracker option can mean guaranteed payment, even if the client disappears without footing the bill (conditions apply, naturally). On the downside, Upwork takes an eye-watering 20% of workers’ fees for new client jobs and there are plenty of scams on the site, alongside the genuine jobs. There are also translators who are willing to work for incredibly low rates in order to build up their feedback.
Why it works for translation clients: Upwork is easy to use from the client side too and companies can (and must) pay directly through the platform, which cuts out some of the usual admin hassle. It’s possible to find plenty of translators available, some of whom are prepared to work for low rates – but clients need to be careful about who they hire and assess each client individual based on their feedback score for recent work. As anyone can apply to any job listing, there’s also a fair amount of rifling through terrible applications involved.
Translators Café is a community-style site where translators and their clients can connect. Clients can post job listings as well as browsing for individual freelance translators and translation agencies. Anyone can register on the site and it’s quick and easy to do so.
Why it works for translators: Translators can quickly set up their profile and begin accessing jobs, which cover a wide range of language pairings, so this can be a great way to find new clients. As with ProZ and Upwork, however, the amount of time spent applying for work and then not getting the job can be frustrating. The lack of a built-in payment mechanism can also be problematic.
Why it works for translation clients: The site provides access to 1,795 pages of translator profiles with 30 translators per page, meaning that clients have a vast array of freelance translation professionals at their disposal. On the flipside, this can mean sieving through countless profiles before finding the right person for the job. The absence of a payment system can also be frustrating for the client, as well as for the translator.
Fiverr is another popular online freelancing marketplace. Like Upwork, its scope is much broader than translation, but translation is listed as one of the popular searches on the site’s homepage (at the time of writing, at least). It is easy for both clients and translators to register and provides a built-in payment process.
Why it works for translators: The competition on Fiverr is far lower than on Upwork and most translators advertise their services for reasonable rates, rather than ridiculously low prices. The site allows you to progress as a seller, meaning that you can rise to the top as a result of your expertise. On the downside, the number of jobs available is lower than on Upwork too, meaning there are fewer potential work opportunities and it can take longer to build up a decent profile score.
Why it works for translation clients: Fiverr is simple to use and lacks a lot of the scams and time-wasters to which Upwork is prone. The number of freelance translators available is manageable and the platform includes some highly skilled linguists. The painful part for clients is the fee, which amount to 20% of the cost of the job.
There are plenty of well-qualified, professional freelance translators available, with the internet affording translation clients a superb amount of choice. Of course, for those clients who want an outstanding, hassle-free service, Tomedes is here to help!