All of us might need a translation from time to time. As all of us communicate, languages are extremely important in our lives. At the same time, the number of languages and dialects in our world is so large, it can effortlessly make our heads spin. The importance and vitality of languages and translation in our world cannot be overestimated. We need translations for different purposes, ranging from traveling to simple day-to-day communication with our friends that might live in another country. Yet, what’s the first thing you do when you need to use the translation service, after all? That’s right, you look for the most affordable one. How do you do that? Let’s check out some of the most popular sources of translation and find out.
Choosing Your Language Service Provider (LSP)
It should be noted, however, that selecting the language service provider is not a matter of affordability in the first place. It’s more of a matter of knowing what you need first. If, for instance, you need a casual general translation of your conversation with a friend, you might even use the machine translation that is completely free of charge. Yet, when you require a translation of a serious technical text, you’ll have to put down some cash and address a professional. Speaking more specifically, here are some of the most widespread sources of translation, with their advantages and downsides.
- Machine translation (plus editing). If you’re completely out of money, you can translate virtually anything on your own using the free and easy-to-use translation apps, like Google Translate or Microsoft Translator. The major downside of this option is obviously the effort you have to make to achieve quality translation. The problem with machine translation is that this area, although developing very fast, is not developed enough yet to replace human translators. Some language specifics, like slang or speech mannerisms, will almost certainly be “overlooked” by the translation app, leaving you either with a poor result or in need to work on your own to make the translation look good enough.
- Freelance translator. If you happen to have a translator friend or stumble across an ad from a professional providing services as a freelancer, choose this option. In most cases, this is quite a balanced solution as solo freelancers don’t always charge a lot and have some considerable skills. A serious downside of the solo translator, however, is his or her potentially low reliability as such professionals often combine the regular full-time job with their freelancing ventures. So, before hiring a solo freelance professional, make sure their time management is okay.
- Freelance platform. Another great option that stands between the solo freelance translator and the translation agency. Freelance platforms basically gather freelancers “under a single roof” and connect them with the clients. This simple but efficient model combines the relative affordability of freelance professionals and the high quality of translation agencies. On top of that, freelance platforms are regularly rated online by Pickwriters, so you can always check and find the trusted service. The only downside here could be the minor instability in quality as you might get absolutely different professionals to work on your translations. While the first one might make a great impression, the second one might not be as great and damage the reputation of the platform for you.
- Translation agencies. You can try your luck and go searching for cheap translation services at the local translation agencies. The main downside of any physical translation agency is that it will very likely charge a lot for your translation. As a turnover, however, you can expect the highest quality possible. Nevertheless, there are cases when agencies charge a lot, yet, provide you with a rather mediocre result, so remember that not all glitter is gold.
Choose With Your Brain, Not Your Wallet
Yes, acquiring affordable language assistance is very important, especially if you’re low on budget. However, preserving your brain cells and lifeforce is the most important thing that drives you to hire someone to do a translation for you in the first place. Search well and you’ll find what you need. The only thing you have to do is to define your needs clearly and then articulate that adequately enough to your assistant. That does half of the work at least.
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