Many organizations that have a translation project looming consider hiring a freelance translator instead of bringing in a full-service language services provider (LSP). The appropriate path for translating your written material depends on a few factors. 

The important considerations involve time, quality, budget, and the need for value-added services. Do you have the time and staff to hire and manage individual translators, and assess the quality of their results?

If you want to manage the project on your own without the assistance of an LSP, the use of locally-based, single-language translators can be an effective solution for very small projects with one target language.

This option works best when translating from English into a common language (so that it is easy to find a linguist), the formatting is simple (such as Microsoft Word), subsequent updates are unlikely, timelines are flexible, and projects are infrequent.

Should I Hire a Freelance Translator?

As the volume of material or the number of target languages increases, the limitations of this approach will become increasingly obvious. Keep in mind that with single-language translators, your management and coordination load will increase exponentially as the number of target languages grows.

In comparison, a full-service LSP like LanguageLine® can provide you with all the resources necessary to receive high-quality translations on time and on budget, reducing your need to be involved in the day-to-day execution of the project.

When aggressive timelines are required, LSPs can build and manage large teams of translators. They are also able to perform both linguistic and functional QA to ensure the translation is correct. And, they probably have an engineering team that can work with, and extract text from, any file type. Perhaps most significantly, most firms will be able to use sophisticated tools that will yield significant savings on future projects.

As you consider all the available options, let your project goals lead you to the best solution.

LanguageLine Can Help

LanguageLine has been the world leader in innovative language-access solutions since 1982. The company sets the global standard for phone, video, and onsite interpreting, as well as translation of the written word. LanguageLine is trusted by more than 30,000 clients to enable communication with the limited English proficient, Deaf, and Hard of Hearing communities. LanguageLine provides the industry’s fastest and most dependable access to more than 35,000 professional linguists in 290-plus languages — 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.  Please do not hesitate to contact us

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