Few utterances in the field of translation evoke more passionate responses than an innocuous string of eight words arranged in this order: “Should I hire a Language Service Providers (LSP) or a freelancer?”
An Internet search will throw links to hundreds of blogs, commentaries, guides, studies, and documents pitting agencies against independent contractors. Each write-up, presentation, infographic, or video will have a winner depending on whose side the author is.
For us in the community, these incessant squabbles are routine. We are so used these wars of words that we don’t think about the entire thing any more and recommend to our clients that it’s high time they stop wasting their time on the “agency vs. freelancer” row.
When Agency vs. Freelancer Doesn’t Make Sense
One of the first lessons a professional translator learns during his education is that neither literal nor formal translation is superior.
A skilled hand will know how to negotiate the terrain between those two extremes to produce a piece of word that is loyal to the author and transparent to the reader.
Similarly, it doesn’t make sense to claim “translation agencies are better than freelancers” or “freelancers are better than translation agencies.” LSPs and freelancers are tools and successful business people—like skilled artisans—make an effort to learn which tools is suitable for which occasion.
To make decision making easier for you, we have put together a handy chart. Go through it and you will no longer have a need to look up “agency vs. freelancer” in your favorite search engine.
Don’t let the “agency vs. freelancer” row deviate you from your main goal – to get a quality translation. Consider your budget, management skills, project’s complexity and duration, and the time you can spend on hunting for the right people. It’ll help you decide which—the agency or the freelancer—is more suitable for your project.