If you need any type of business document translated, the first thing to remember is this: always choose a professional translator rather than any type of machine translation, most of which provide extremely poor results. Once you’ve come to terms with the fact that you’ll need a real person to provide your translation, the next decision may not be as clear: should you hire a freelance translator? When it comes to that choice, there are – as always – pros and cons.

Pros

Cost

In order to be successful, most freelancers need to be somewhat competitive with their fees. That could be good news for you! If you are fortunate enough to find a fluent freelancer with a solid background in your industry, his or her fee might be somewhat less than a translation company.

Direct Communication

When you hire a freelancer, you are most often working with that person directly. That means that your freelancer will usually be easy to contact and accessible. This is, arguably, one of the greatest advantages of working with a freelancer – you are hiring that person directly, and it truly is an employer/employee relationship.

Priority of your work

Because a freelancer is typically working with only one or very few clients at a time, you can usually rely on the fact that your project will be a high priority for the freelancer. It’s important to be clear with regard to your deadline, and stay in contact with the translator throughout the course of the project to make sure he or she is on schedule.

Cons

Quality of translation

Although you might assume that anyone working as a freelancer must be a skilled linguist, this is not always the case. That’s why it’s important to “vet” your freelancer as thoroughly as possible prior to actually hiring that person. Unfortunately, that’s difficult to do. One of the biggest advantages of going through a translation company is their ability to match your needs with the right person – someone who has proven skills as a linguist and experience in your industry.

Reliability

The unfortunate truth is that you have no idea how many clients your freelancer may be working with, which means that your freelancer might very well be overloaded with projects and unable to meet deadlines without sacrificing quality. With regard to reliability, a translation company is often the best choice.

Availability

Hiring a freelancer means not only having to find the right translator, but also one who can take one the work you have and get the job done on time. That is a challenge, to say the least. A good translation company, on the other hand, employs a staff of highly trained and skilled linguists and can more easily accommodate your project and get it completed on time.

Whether you choose a freelancer or a translation company, always make sure that your translator is a skilled linguist with experience in your industry.