story localization

What Translation Agencies Can Offer That a Freelancer Can’t?

By Hagen Weiss

If you start looking online for the best translator in your target language, you will no doubt be faced with dozens of options. You will soon notice that you will have to choose between doing business with a self-employed translator or with a translation agency.

You may think that using a freelance translator is the way to go, as you would be communicating with them directly and would not have to pay for the typical agency overheads, but think again.

Translation Agency

Benefits of Working With a Translation Agency


If you are a larger company, you would be hard-pressed to find a translator that can do it all – from translating your marketing materials to your technical user guides and privacy policies. And finding or hiring a good translator with the appropriate educational background, who is a native speaker of your target language and can work with your deadlines can be challenging.

On the other hand, agencies typically have a network of specialized resources in various fields of expertise, which can save you a lot of time. Moreover, we have already vetted these translators, which means that you don’t have to go through that process yourself.

This is even more important if you are working under tight deadlines or need your text translated in more than one language; agencies can assign a few translators to your project under short notice. You could, of course, find a few translators yourself, but you will likely not have the resources needed to ensure that the terminology used throughout the final translation is consistent and that the same style and tone of voice is used throughout.

Quality Assurance

Don’t get us wrong, there are amazingly skilled self-employed translators out there. But they can be hard to find by simply looking for them using search engines and you may have a few bad experiences along the way.

As a general rule, when you choose to do business with an established and specialized agency, you can expect to receive a high-quality translation. Indeed, a good agency will have a team of translators, editors and proofreaders that will follow a three-step quality assurance process to ensure that your text is of the highest-quality, free of grammar and punctuation errors and reads well for your target market.


An agency employs more than just translators; we have a team whose job it is to manage projects from start to finish. This means that we can offer a smooth client onboarding process by asking the right questions, making sure that the project requirements are laid out and properly communicated to our translators and that the work is completed according to schedule.

When it comes to technical resources, translation agencies can afford to purchase software that facilitates everyday tasks, such as project management software and computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools, which are especially handy when working on large localization projects. Translation memory software allows us to speed up our translations over time and ensure that consistent language is used from one document to the other.

When working long-term with a client, we will usually work with you to create a translation glossary containing standard terms used within your organization and their approved translations in order to ensure that your brand image is upheld over time.

In short, having these tools allow us to keep precedents, maintain consistency from one version or project to the next and generally makes the whole translation process faster, which could save you costs in the long run.


If you have a lot of documents to translate under tight deadlines in more than one language and thus would need to liaise with more than one translator, you will have to dedicate a lot of time to project management, which an agency could easily do on your behalf. Moreover, working with an agency allows for more flexible payment terms, as you are dealing with a business, and ensures prompt invoicing at the end of the project.

Translation Agency

Not All Agencies Are Created Equal Translation Agency

Of course, not all agencies are created equal and you need to do your research and ask the right questions before entering into any long term agreement. There are definitely pros and cons to consider when weighing your options and deciding between working with a translation agency or a freelance translator, but we trust that this quick overview will have given you some things to keep in mind.

If you are on a tight budget, your translation is fairly straightforward, your needs are short-term and you don’t mind being more hands-on in your communications, then dealing with a freelance translator may be the way to go.

But if you know that you will need to collaborate with a translator on a regular basis or if the content that you are translating is specialized, then it may be a wise idea to find a business partner that you can trust and that can lift that stress off your shoulder.

Dealing with an agency doesn’t necessarily mean losing that personal, human touch: contact us today and we will prove it to you!

E-mail: hello@iglobe.ca

Tel:+1 604 355 3023