You’ve got a website. The designers were pretty expensive but, hey, it was worth it – the website looks brilliant. Now you’re thinking about translating it into French and German because you’ve got some pretty big customers in those countries and there’s more money to be made there. Just do a quick search on Google and…..wow! millions of translators and translation agencies.
You have many options from freelancers to the biggest “Language Service Providers” and each comes with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Probably the cheapest. And probably the highest risk. All it takes is a computer and an internet connection to set yourself up as a freelance translator. A professional-looking website costs very little and buying Google Adwords isn’t expensive. But how can you tell if the freelancer is good, bad or ugly? If I were unscrupulous, I could list my (fake) degree, my (fake) experience and even my (fake) clients. And I know you can’t read German so you can’t judge my work. As long as it looks German, you’ll be happy.
Translation Agencies (or Language Service Providers)
Not the cheapest. But there is a range from reasonable to “they-can’t-be-serious-can-they?”.
I can’t speak about all agencies but Intrawelt works like this:
We use freelance translators and reviewers. We’ve got over 500 with whom we work regularly. We test everyone. We check every CV – calling universities to confirm degrees. We take up every reference. We test their language skills – they have to do a sample translation. If we can’t assess their language skills ourselves, we use external trusted sources (such as universities, or known and trusted translators)
In short, we make absolutely certain that our freelancers are qualified, experienced, and capable.
Then we make sure that they continue to improve their skills by attending courses, workshops, conferences, etc. and by continuing to translate or review in their language combination(s), in their area of expertise. Because if someone’s qualified and experienced but hasn’t translated for 10 years, how current are their language skills?
That’s why many companies choose translation agencies. Because only we can guarantee freelancers and only we can guarantee quality.