Let’s imagine a basketball player in a match wearing the typical outfit of a professional hockey player. Or an Italian chef cooking the best pasta using sushi making utensils. These combinations would surely produce strange results, at the very least.
The same happens when choosing a type of translation service. First we need to define what our needs are, in order to be able to choose the best possible translator, one that meets our budget and requirements.
Let’s begin by getting to know the types of translation services available today:
Online Translator: Among its benefits are, without a doubt, its delivery speed, the fact that they are free of charge, and that they are active 24 hours a day. The downside is that they are not suitable for translating large volume or entire texts, and they have a high error rate. They do not offer quality, but if what you need is translating phrases or words in an informal manner, you can use an online translator, as long as you do not use that content in formal settings. Online translators are useful to read and get a global understanding, but not to generate usable content in another language.
Freelance Translator: They are independent professionals who work from home in texts that the client sends them mostly by email. This option is cheaper than a translation agency, because independent professionals do not have to include in their prices a fixed cost structure. They present a professional option, since they can work with all kinds of complex texts, depending on their experience. The main disadvantage is that, as in any other profession, there are good and bad freelance translators, but they can only be differentiated after receiving their work. Delivery quality is not standardized. Each translator has their own strategies to ensure their delivery quality. Client attention service depends on the relationship between the client and the translator. The freelance translator will be the best translator for you when you need to translate texts with precision, when you have flexible delivery dates, time to negotiate your request, or when you want to reduce costs.
Another important aspect is that for each translation specialty you should invest time in looking for a translator with experience in the subject, due to specific terminology.
- Translation agency: By implementing processes and a methodology for the production and edition of translations, agencies offer good quality, but they have a fixed team of translators. Most agencies assign only one specialized translator to each project, and for that reason they fail satisfy demand peaks and delivery times are longer.
If the texts you need to translate do not require delivery time in short periods, or if your contents are literature related, you have film or theatre scripts, or books, then your option is, without a doubt, a translation Agency.
- Collaborative Translation Platform: This is a technique based on technological advances, in which multiple translators can collaborate in the same document simultaneously. It is a community of translators with standard work processes that ensure quality. Each translator has a specific role to complete a consistent and reliable translation. It is similar to an online product purchase but in this case it commercializes translations. Clients upload the file that they want to have translated on the platform, they receive an instant quotation and, when agreed, in a short period of time clients receive their translation at their e-mail inbox. No time loss. Costs in these platforms are in the middle price range between an agency and an independent translator, but offering a better quality and faster delivery times. If you do well with online shopping, prioritize a good cost-benefit relationship, and need an urgent and reliable translation, this is, without a doubt, the best translator for you.
If you follow this guide, you will be surely able to choose the most accurate option for your project.