Profession Essay

998 words - 4 pages

One of the main challenges for freelance translators is to find suitable clients, and once they have found them, one of their main concerns is how to retain them. As a freelancer you may well find that working for translation agencies rather than for private clients offers both peace of mind and a more reliable flow of orders. 
As a professional freelancer you are doubtlessly well aware of the many benefits of freelance work. Most of these will be associated with themes such as independence, freedom and - if you are lucky - considerable revenues. However, you may also have discovered a number of serious downsides to this kind of work. The one cited perhaps the most frequently is the ongoing ...view middle of the document...

One has to do with capacity. When you work directly for a large private client, capacity is clearly a limiting factor, as you will not be able to take up all their translation requests - especially as you have other clients to tend to as well. Of course you would not have any more capacity when working for an agency, but the agency itself would. By spreading translation work over different translators, agencies can obviously absorb far more work from individual clients, which makes it possible to develop a more or less exclusive relationship with them and for you to gain specific experience of their organization and terminology without necessarily having to do all their translations. This suggests that, overall, not only your capacity but also your professionalism will benefit from working for agencies. Freelancers will usually not be able to

benefit from the type of feedback supplied by colleagues and quality supervisors at an agency. There are also advantages for the client, as companies that hand out translation orders to different freelancers will not benefit from any coordinated effort to safeguard consistency in style and terminology that an agency can offer. 

Another true advantage of translation agencies is that they will enable you to specialize in particular areas of preference. With private clients this is far more difficult to achieve, as the pool of clients to pick from would obviously be much smaller compared with those in a larger agency's files. For example, a successful translation agency that specializes in tax law will probably have all the major tax firms on its files, which means that by working for that agency you would be introduced to a broad spectrum of practitioners in your field of specialization. 

If there is one disadvantage to working for translation agencies it must be the word rates that they offer, which are usually lower, considerably lower even, than those a trusted freelancer would receive in a direct...

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