Translation Agency Vs. Independent Translator: Which is Best?

If you’ve been working towards expanding your business to providing products or services globally, you’ve probably entertained the thought of needing the assistance of translation services. If your global expansion includes countries and clients that speak a language that is different from what you know, you need the help of a translator. You may think you can rely on free computer programs like Google Translate, but the fact of the matter is that those services only work in a pinch. The translation they provide comes across as choppy, childish, and unprofessional; is that how you want your clients to view you when you speak with them? We didn’t think so. Through this article, we’re going to weigh out the pros and cons of using a translation agency vs. hiring an independent translator or interpreter when the need arises.

Independent Translator and/or Independent Interpreter

In this section, we’ll weigh out the basic pros and cons to choosing a freelancer, rather than an agency to handle your translation needs.


  • By hiring an independent translator, you only have to pay them/use them when you need them and they typically have lower rates than an agency. Since it’s just one person offering services and operating the business, they don’t have to upcharge you to pay all of their staff and cover all the services they offer. They’ll do the one task you need by contract, typically.
  • Hiring a freelancer for your translating and interpreting needs also allows you to save money when you can. For example, you could hire a more expensive, highly rated professional to translate the important documents like contracts and then cut corners by hiring a cheaper beginner to handle the less important things like web content.


  • Hiring a freelancer for each task can be a way to save money, but it’s very tedious and time-consuming. It requires you to have to take time out of your busy schedule to sift through listings of freelancers, recommendations, or websites for freelancers trying to find someone that suits your specific needs and budget; what a hassle.

Translation Agency

This section will explain the pros and cons of working with a translation agency, rather than hiring an independent translator for each task.


  • Translation agencies tend to offer a wide variety of services; most include document translation, interpretation services, web content translation, and many other translation services. You keep them on retainer, essentially, and they handle it all. You won’t have to find anyone else for a specific task, just tell them what you need.
  • Translation agencies usually limit their staff to highly trained professionals that speak their target language fluently and have a basic understanding of the culture, so as to suggest appropriate SEO keyword suggestions and content that flows properly and sounds authentic and engaging.


  • This option tends to cost you a little more, given how much effort they put in and the highly rated staff they employ, but it’ll save you tons of time.

If saving money and cutting corners is your top priority right now, we recommend choosing the freelancing option; however, proceed with caution because you tend to receive the quality for which you pay. If saving time and maintaining professionalism is your number one priority, go with a translation agency, no question about it. They will handle all your translation needs in the simplest way possible, provide you with a person to consult with whenever you need, and all at just a small price increase; it’s definitely worth it.