If you or your company require translations, you may be considering bypassing the agency solution and recruiting your own freelance translators. It may seem like the cheaper option which would also give your greater control over your translations.
Not so fast. First of all, recruiting your own translators without an in-depth knowledge of the industry can be very challenging. The freelance marketplace is rife with pseudo-translators trying to make a quick dollar without the experience and expertise to back up their claims of quality. An translation agency is usually better equipped to vet potential candidates and select the few who are true professionals, know the languages they work in inside and out, and have experience in a given industry so that your text makes sense in the target language.
As for pricing, working with direct freelancers is not necessarily a less expensive affair. When translators quote to agencies they provide discounted pricing knowing full well that the agency needs to add their mark-up but still remain competitive. So, if you approach a translator directly, he or she will likely quote higher fees those asked of an agency. You may still be saving a few dollars, but the savings may not be as high as you expect, and will not compensate you for the effort and time spent dealing with the project.
And this brings me to the third point. When you recruit your own freelancers, you are essentially taking on a role of project manager. You will not only need to select candidates. You will need to prepare the documents for translations adequately, possibly purchase software that translators use nowadays to aid them in the translation process, prepare glossaries and deal with the back and forth of queries and deliveries. You will also need to find editors to proofread the translated documents. And if you want really superb results, you will have to perform a final quality check, which can take hours. All of this can be avoided when you entrust your translation project to the hands of a professional translation agency.
Still not convinced? You still want to recruit your own team of translations? That’s fine.