Imagine a basketball player playing in a professional hockey player’s outfit. Or an Italian chef who cooks the best pasta, but uses the utensils to make sushi. Surely those combinations would yield questionable results.
The same thing happens when choosing a type of translation service, first you must define what are needs you have so that you can select the best possible translator to fit your requirements and translation budget.
Let’s start by getting familiar with the different types of translation services available today:
The online translator
Undoubtedly, among its benefits are speed of delivery, which are free and available 24/7. The negative side, they’re not useful when you want to translate whole pieces of large texts, and have a high level of error. They don’t offer quality but if you need to translate phrases or words informally, you can opt for the online translator, as long as you do not use the multilingual content in formal environments. It serves to aid multilingual communication so that people can ‘get the gist’ of what is trying to be communicated at a global level, not to generate usable multilingual content in another language.
The freelance translator
They are independent professional translators who receive the texts via email from clients so that they can translate and create multilingual content remotely from home. It’s a cheaper option than a translation agency since the independent professional translator doesn’t have a fixed cost structure to include in their translation prices. They are a professional option, because they work with all kinds of complex texts, depending on the experience they have. The main disadvantage is that, as in every profession, there are good and bad freelance translators, but it’s hard to differentiate them until the translation process is complete.
The quality of translation delivery is not standardised.Each translator has their own strategies to ensure their quality of translation delivery. The customer service depends on the affinity of the client and translator. The freelance translator will be the best translator for you when you need to translate texts accurately, have a specific time for delivery and negotiation of the quote of the order or want to reduce the translation costs. Another important point is that for each translation specialty, you should spend time looking for a translator with experience in the subject, due to the specific terminologies.
The translation agency
By having processes and methodology for producing and correcting translations, the translation agencies offer good quality, but they have fixed translation teams. Most of them assign a single specialised translator for each translation project, so they don’t meet the demand peaks and the delivery times are lengthened. If the texts that you need to translate don’t require a delivery time in short terms or if it is a literary subject matter, screenplays, theatrical or books, your choice is without doubt a translation agency.
The collaborative translation platform
This is a technique created through technological advances, in which multiple translators can collaborate on the same translation document simultaneously.It is a community of professional translators with standard work processes that ensure quality translations. Each translator performs a specific role in the translation process to complete a consistent and accurate translation. It is the closest thing to an online platform for buying a product but marketing translations. The client uploads the file that they want to translate to the platform, receives an instant quote for the translation and, if they agree, within a short period, they receive the translation via email. The costs of these translation platforms are intermediate values between those of a translation agency and an independent translator, with the advantage of having higher quality translations and better delivery times. If you manage well with online shopping, you prioritise a good cost-benefit ratio, and you need an urgent and reliable translation, this is undoubtedly the best translator for you.
If you follow this guide you can easily figure out which is the most suitable option for your translation project.