Table 3:  Choosing the right contractor point by point


Advantages
Drawbacks
Freelance translator
  • Proximity
  • Good knowledge of the client’s work
  • Privileged relationship
  • Prices often lower than those charged by translator networks and translation agencies
  • Complaints handled direct with the translator
  • Acquisition of the company’s terminology
  • Language combinations and areas of specialization limited
  • Lack of flexibility for large volumes Translation without proofreading by a third-party
  • Multiplicity of contacts according to the language combinations desired
  • Translations cannot be certified
  • Limited language variants
Translator network or translation company
  • Proximity
  • Good knowledge of the client’s work
  • Privileged relationship
  • Prices often lower than those charged by translation agencies
  • Complaints handled direct with the translator / proof-reader pair
  • Acquisition of the company’s terminology
  • Wider choice of language combinations and areas of specialization than can be offered by a freelance translator
  • Responsible for the whole process of translation, proofreading, validation and certification/authentication
  • Flexibility concerning tight deadlines and large volumes
  • Option of offering several language variants within a combination (Canadian English, British English, American English for example)
  • A single point of contact for ten (on average per translators’ network) language combinations in general
  • Quality process entirely managed internally and by professional translators
  • Advice concerning producing the translation without harming the quality
  • Language combinations and areas of specialization depend on the members of the translator network
  • Less flexibility where deadlines are very tight and volumes are very large (100,000 words in 24 hours for example)
Translation agency
  • Infinite choice of language combinations and areas of specialization
  • Responsible for the whole process of translation, proofreading, validation and certification/authentication
  • Infinite flexibility where deadlines are very tight and volumes are very large (100,000 words in 24 hours for example)
  • Option of offering several language variants within a combination (Canadian English, British English, American English for example)
  • A single point of contact for an infinite number of language combinations including rare languages (Farsi for example)
  • Complaints always handled for the client s benefit
  • Frequent change of contacts
  • Lack of follow-through of the translation process (often several translators and proof-readers for the same project)
  • Fluctuating quality due to frequent changes of pairs
  • Quality process managed internally very often using software, limited human involvement (terminology comparison, spell checker, punctuation checker...)
  • Lack of consistency in documents (frequent change of translators, documents split between several translators)
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