Direct clients seem to be the holy grail for many freelance translators. Higher rates, direct communication and all in all a less demanding approach are some of the virtues freelance translators attribute to them. This might be the case when it comes to unprofessional and start-up translation agencies. However, professional translation agencies have much more to offer than the dearly beloved direct clients.
Professional translation agencies make everything easier for the translator. They act as a middleman and give you the project on a silver platter. They will never send you an uneditable PDF file and ask you to translate it. They will never make you process your own quotes. They will monitor your availability and not burden you with more projects if you are already swamped. They plan everything for you and pay you on time.
Your direct client, although well-intentioned, might not have any background knowledge about translation and therefore make things harder for you. They might not have the necessary tools to extract the PDF file content for you. They might not know what OCR is. They might not know how to generate quotes. They might not be able to give you any feedback about your work because he or she is not going through the trouble of reading your translation and probably can’t speak the target language. And who knows when they will decide to pay you?
Freelance translators and professional translation agencies work hand in hand to provide a good translation for the final client; they complete each other and work in two parallel lines to achieve the highest levels of quality. This collaboration gives a much greater chance of success. Here are some ways in which professional translation agencies put you in a better position than direct clients.
What are the benefits of collaborating with professional translation agencies?
- They send the projects that suit you best.
Professional translation agencies keep a good database of translators. They know your language pair. They know what you studied. They know where you worked and how much experience you have. After collaborating with you for some time, they know which language pair you excel at, as well as the field and how committed you are to deadlines. This makes the working experience much more enjoyable for the freelance translator because he or she is in their element and know they are in safe hands.
- They pay you on time.
Professional translation agencies need to send payments on a regular basis. They have a figure who carries out this task at reasonable time intervals. They will not forget about you and they respect you and your time enough to pay you within the agreed timeframe.
- They revise your work.
Professional translation agencies are aware that translation mistakes can happen frequently. That’s why they don’t trust work done by external translators blindly. They take matters into their own hands and revise the work to ensure it is linguistically correct and fulfills the final client’s requirements.
- They provide you a continuous workflow.
Professional translation agencies have an unlimited supply of work. A direct client might have an expiration date because there is only so much translation work they can need. If your main source of income is a direct client and they cut off the supply all of a sudden, it can be extremely inconvenient for you.
- They are willing to negotiate rates.
Professional translation agencies are more flexible when it comes to financing their translators. They tend to have good budgets and don’t mind loosening up the purse’s strings when it comes to their favourite translators.
Contrary to popular belief, collaborating with professional translation agencies can be very beneficial for you and your business. If you want to know how to choose the right company, read: 15 Questions For All Translation Companies Before Starting A Project.