Business Translation Center

Is a translation agency or a private translator better for business translation?

by OFER TIROSH 10/08/2017

When it comes to professional business translation, your company has the option to use a translation agency or a private translator. These two different approaches have their own distinct advantages, so it will depend on your individual company’s requirements as to which suits you best. 

Working with a private translator means you can quickly build up a rapport with the individual who will be translating your documents. He/she will work with you on a one-to-one basis in order to rapidly understand your translation requirements and priorities. 

By carefully shopping around for the right private translator, you may also be able to keep your costs down by opting to use an individual. While an agency has the cost of running an office and a staff team to cover, a private translator has only him/herself to account for when it comes to how much to charge. As such, your business may find that a private translator can be more flexible when it comes to negotiating a price (although this is far from guaranteed). 

Working with a private translator also means that you can choose to work with an individual whose CV directly matches your requirements. If you need a medical translation specialist with experience of WordPress and SEO, that’s precisely who you can appoint. 

Appointing a translation agency can also provide you with these skills, though an agency may choose to use one individual for the translation and another for the desktop publishing-type elements (or they may in fact use the same person for both). 

Using a professional, agency-based translation service may not provide you with such a personal relationship, but it can provide you with a friendly, efficient customer service team that’s available around the clock, rather than just during set working hours. This is particularly true if you opt for an agency that serves clients in multiple countries and so makes a point of always having someone available to answer the phone or respond to your frantic email when you realise at 2 am that you’ve forgotten to add an important presentation to the list of documents being translated!

Using an agency also provides flexibility in terms of sickness and holiday cover. Our translation company, for example, maintains a network of more than 5,000 professional translators spread around the world. That makes it easy for us to find an alternative linguist should an assigned translator be or unwell or have a vacation coming up.  

A translation agency can also provide multiple translators for single projects. If you have a vast swathe of documents that needs translating at short notice, for example, an agency can assign multiple translators to work on them. A private translator is limited to the number of hours that he/she can work per day and this can impact on the speed at which your files are translated. 

Ultimately, the choice you make will be based upon your company’s needs. If you would like to discuss those requirements in more detail, please feel free to contact Tomedes.