Translation agencies, with in-house project managers and translators are, for the most part, only appropriate for large multinational companies requiring their technical documentation or websites to be translated into various languages. The situation is different if you e.g. have a small or medium-sized company or work as a freelancer and need a translation into one single foreign language. In that case, you do not need a translation agency that will offer you a complex and expensive project management, but an individual translator like me who you can commission to do the work right away. The same applies if you are a private customer and need for instance certified translations of your school or civil register certificates.
There are at least three concrete benefits in favour of working with a freelance translator.
Translation agencies with many in-house employees have completely different running costs than freelance translators. Because of that it is understandable why they charge higher prices. Large companies can (and have to) afford this because in the case of extensive translation projects it is not possible without proper project management, depending on the language combination and field of expertise. This solution is not ideal for small and medium-sized companies that are not as well-established and have a limited demand for translation. By placing your order with a freelance translator, you can save money that you would normally spend on unnecessary project management.
Let's say you have prepared a cooperation agreement and want to get it translated into German. The translator notices that one of the phrases used in the contract has multiple meanings and wants to check it with you. If you employed the services of a translation agency, this is how it usually follows: The translator (who often works outside the office) first gets in contact with his project manager. The project manager rephrases the translator's question and, after valuable times passes, sends it to the end-client, that is to you. In the meantime, the project manager's superior gets involved to make sure everything is fine. After all, the client expects good customer service!
I know from experience that such intermediately procedures can result in an unbelievable workload and loss of time. This becomes especially apparent in the case of complicated topics and challenging contents. When it is important to you that any questions, discrepancies and doubts, be it with regard to the subtleties of the source text or the target text, are resolved directly and quickly, then you should cooperate with a freelance translator with whom you have direct contact and who, as your sole point of contact and contractor, knows everything about your aims and wishes.
Guaranteed data protection
Data protection should not be underestimated. If you put your text out somewhere, you often do not know where it will end up. It is not guaranteed that trusting a translation agency with a confidential document is a good idea. There is something many people are not aware of: Many translation agencies which pretend to be professional providers are in fact pure intermediation agencies. Such agencies do not employ any translators at all, but send all assignments to external contractors who are often not verified, live abroad and work at bargain prices. Yes, you think correctly: your confidential agreement draft or description of your newest product that is to be introduced into the market is suddenly not with the agency you sent it to, but in a completely different, undefined place. The worst thing is you will never ever know about this.
You can eliminate this risk by commissioning an independent translator who is responsible for and completes all work themselves. You leave your confidential documents to an actual person knowing that they are liable for any damage if necessary. You can be even more confident if your translator resides in Germany, is a holder of a professional indemnity insurance, state-certified and sworn-in at a court of law like me.
Benefit from my qualifications and professional work: