Is There a Risk When Hiring Freelance Translators?

Over the past few years, there has been a steady growth in the number of freelance websites that are platforms for independent contractors to advertise and sell their services. You can find many willing providers by visiting sites like oDesk or getaFreelancer. Many of them also provide translation services for clients. However, considering the large number of freelance translators that are available, one immediately thinks of the potentially dangerous issues associated with hiring them.

Unfortunately, when supply and demand are balanced, there are dangers lurking in every part of the market. The goal of most of these independent contractors is to differentiate themselves on a particular project and present themselves as more capable and competent than they actually are. You have to be very careful when translating.

There are many “black sheep” in this scene trying to win a particular item by lowering the price to an unacceptable level, which unfortunately results in the buyer deciding to hand the job to them. Others were so happy that they handed off the translation task to automated online translation services like Google Translate. The translations provided by these services are so bad it will make your toenails curl. However, you can translate your document in seconds with just one click.

Don’t undervalue its dependability.

Another risky aspect that cannot be underestimated is its reliability. It is impossible to achieve reliability with the method just discussed. Apparently, the buyer was able to complete his translation, but the quality was so poor that he had no choice but to send the job to another translator. By not being able to rely on freelance translators, buyers not only waste valuable time but sometimes even financial resources.

Lost time

Again, this important fact about “lost time” should not be ignored. Imagine a client who counts and expects a translation to be completed by a certain date. He wanted to start a new website but couldn’t because the translated information wasn’t ready yet…

In summary, the dangers of working with freelancers are at least as great as the dangers of working with other types of niches.

The greatest dangers are:

  • Insufficient quality
  • cannot be relied upon
  • waste of time and money

If you make a habit of reminding yourself of these potential downsides before outsourcing work to freelancers, you’ll be better off than those who don’t even consider these aspects. You will easily identify the “black sheep” and distinguish really good translators from the rest of the team.

Advice on risk mitigation

Before you hire a freelancer, you should always keep the following considerations in mind so that you don’t end up becoming a victim of these “black sheep”.

Don’t get confused if there is a cheap offer!

Choosing a low-effort freelancer might seem cheap at first, but after reading this article, you should understand why this isn’t always the case.

Test translation!

There’s no need to translate an entire 100-page e-book as a test, but a 20-30 line example can pretty much tell you who makes a good freelance translator and who doesn’t.

Feel free to ask for preliminary results!

It is important that you check this so that you can be sure that the work will be completed within the allotted time. You can easily predict if there might be a problem and have enough time to restructure if necessary.

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