Which is Which: Differences between an LSP and Freelance Translators

Тhere are substantial differences between working with freelance translators and an LSP. This article is about the most important of these differences. TEP process

Miloš Matović 2015-12-30 Consulting

Which is Which: Differences between an LSP and Freelance Translators

When you embark on a translation or a localization project, you basically have two alternatives – you may use services of freelance translators or hire a translation agency. Although the goal of both approaches is essentially the same – your content gets translated to a foreign languages – there are substantial differences between working with freelance translators and an LSP. This article is about the most important of these differences.

TEP process

Most translation companies offer TEP (translate-edit-proofread) service by default and this means that your translation is carried out by at least two linguists with familiarity of your project work on the translation, thus adding an extra layer of quality control. Most freelance translators do not offer this type of service.

Price and Cost Savings

Freelance translators are cheaper – that is almost always a fact of life.

However, translation companies have the required expertise and use technological infrastructure that will help not only save money, but also time and energy - in the long run. Over time, translation companies build translation memories based on your projects and the language combinations that most definitely cut costs, but also save time and ensure consistency.

While working with freelance translators may be the right solution for smalleр projects and, handling of larger and more complex projects should be left to LSPs.

Full Service

Freelance translators usually complete the translation tasks and their job is done.

LSPs, on the other hand, usually offer integrated services that include consulting, editing and other linguistic services depending on the requirements of your projects. In addition, they form dedicated teams for your projects and language combinations, ensuring consistency and high level of quality at all times.

Volumes and TT

While freelance translators may translate smaller volumes in appropriate time, translation companies are better at handling larger translation projects, particularly under tight schedules, retaining the usual level of quality.

Conclusion

It all depends on what you are looking for. While working with freelance translators may be the right solution for smaller short-term projects and is almost always cheaper, handling of larger and more complex projects should be left to LSPs whose higher prices will definitely be justified by higher value, consistency and a wide range of additional services.