Do you need a document translating but how do you go about it? There are many solutions. Here is a brief guide to the different types of translation service providers, which could help you choose who to entrust your business content to.
Many translators choose to set themselves up in business as freelancers. These professionals try to carve out a place in the translation market on their own. In this category, you might come across three scenarios:
A freelance translator who will take on your project directly
This professional works alone. You can contact them directly, sending your documents and providing instructions about the translation. Note that freelance translators often also work for translation agencies.
A freelance translator who subcontracts to other colleagues
Some freelance translators, overwhelmed with work, choose to subcontract to trusted colleagues in exchange for a small commission. They will act as an intermediary, usually proofreading their colleague’s work before sending you the final version.
A freelance project manager
Unlike a translator subcontracting to a colleague, a freelance project manager no longer translates. They act solely as intermediaries. Their address books are long lists of professional translators who specialise in a variety of fields and work in different language combinations.
A translation agency is a company that can take charge of your project from A to Z. Translation companies differ in terms of size and mode of operation:
In this category, two or three people work together to create a small translation agency. They are often former colleagues or collaborators specialising in a particular field who choose to set up their own business.
This concept is the basis on which BeTranslated was created: several professional translators pool their knowledge and experience to create a network based on trust and quality. This is a different way of managing a small agency. Generally, the members of this type of network still produce their own translations. They always proofread all the translations that pass through their hands.
This type of agency might have five to twenty employees, who will include not just project managers but also specialists in desktop publishing, web formats, and localisation. They work in the same office, know each other personally and meet every day. Everyone has a specific role and represents a key element of the translation process. Medium-sized agencies are usually created by professional translators who know their way around the industry and entrust projects to fully-qualified independent translators.
Here at least a hundred employees work together at several offices spread around the world. The scenario here is quite different, and the larger agencies may not even be created or managed by professional translators or people with experience in the industry. The “business” side tends to take priority over the human aspect and professional fulfillment.
Unlike small agencies, these huge corporations, such as SDL or Lionbridge, are real translation factories. Located in many countries, they manage hundreds of projects every day and divide tasks between their large numbers of employees. They have huge networks of translators working in every conceivable language combination and specialising in particular fields. This enables them to manage many different projects, regardless of the subject.
Translation services: it’s up to you!
From freelance translators to mega-agencies, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to translation service providers! The final decision to entrust your documents to one over another is up to you, depending on your needs and expectations. Every provider has a different approach, so think about the type of service you want when making your choice.
Have you ever used the services of one of these types of providers? Were you happy with the service? Share your experience with us! And if you’re looking for a reliable agency with experienced native translators, get in touch with BeTranslated today for a free, no-obligation quote.