Advantages of working with a translation agency
There is no denying that translation agencies can be useful. From a client’s point of view, they are convenient. Especially if you require many languages. If you need a document translated into ten different languages you do not need to find ten translators – the agency will do that for you. Nor do you need to know about the translation process – just send the text you need translated to an agency and again they will do everything for you. From a translator’s point of view, it is easy to get regular work from agencies. Which means you can earn a stable income without having to spend a lot of time marketing your services.
However these advantages have lead to large agencies dominating the translation industry, and like everything, translation agencies also have their disadvantages.
There are several reasons why large, low paying and unprofessional agencies are able to dominate the translation industry:
– Many agencies do not invest in training their project managers. This lack of training means that they will often agree to unrealistic deadlines just to please the client and their employer. Nor do they know the appropriate questions to ask their client in order to meet that client’s needs
If you are buying translation services for the first time you need to do some research. Will the requirements of your project be best met by choosing a translation agency or an individual translator? If you decide to work with an agency there are many reliable, professional ones to choose from. Get recommendations and check LinkedIn or Twitter to get an idea of how individual agencies work. If the text you require translated is highly specialised consider looking for an agency specialising in that field. Many of the translators they work with will have professional experience in that area.
If you are a translator you should also get recommendations from colleagues and form an impression of how an agency works before agreeing to work with them. Do research into the rates typically being charged for your language combination and specialisation. Above all, stick to your principals if you think an agency is trying to underpay you or set too tight a deadline.
To find a suitable translation agency or freelance translator visit http://www.iti.org.uk/find-a-translator-interpreter