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Translation agency or freelancer - which should I choose?

1 August 2022
By Barbara Dragsted

Perhaps you already have experience with using professional translators? Maybe it's the first time you've had to have a text translated by an ageny? Either way, you may have considered whether to use a professional translation agency or contact a freelancer. And what the difference really is.

What are the benefits of using a freelancer?

One advantage of working with a freelance translator can be that the cost of a translation can be lower because the freelancer is usually 'only' required to earn their own salary - unlike a translation agency, which has to cover a range of other overheads. However, the price of a translation depends on many different factors and can also vary greatly from one freelancer to another, so it's hard to say anything very specific about the cost of a translation - whether you use a freelancer or a translation agency.

Another advantage can be that you, as a client, build up a relationship with one particular translator who gets to know your company and your texts well - unlike some types of translation agencies that use many different freelancers and where, in principle, you risk having a new person assigned to the task every time you send a text for translation. 

What are the benefits of using a translation agency?

The advantage of working with a professional translation agency is that you, the client, can experience greater flexibility. This is because the translation agency has several employees or subcontractors who can take on a given task at a given time. This means that when you work with a translation agency, it is more likely that there will be the resources to complete your assignment by the deadline you want.

Another advantage is that a translation agency can call on different translators with different specialisations and skills. If you need a legal contract translated one week, a technical description of a product the next, and a text for your website the following week, the translation agency can assign different translators with different strengths and specialisations to different tasks.

However, it is often an advantage to have the same translator, or a few translators, always working on your texts. Clients should be aware that some translation agencies work with many different freelance translators, and that there is a risk that a new translator will be appointed each time something needs translating. 

At GlobalDenmark Translations we have a permanent staff of in-house translators with different specialisations, and as a client you will always have contact with the same translator who has special knowledge of your field and the types of text you need translated. 

We specialise in Danish to English and English to Danish translation, but we work with other translation agencies and freelance translators, so if our clients need translation into or from other languages, we can help with that too.

How much does a translation cost at a professional translation agency?

The price of a translation from a professional translation agency varies greatly and can depend on, for example, how quickly you need the translation, how extensive the task is, etc, 

The translation market is a 'mixed' one, and a good rule of thumb is to be wary of very cheap translations. You may receive a translation that has not been proofread and quality checked, the translator may not have the relevant training, and you may not have the opportunity to speak directly to the translator about any questions or requests for adjustments to the translation.

Read more here about how we work with translation at GlobalDenmark, a well-established professional translation agency in Copenhagen, and click here if you would like a quote for a translation.