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Palexgroup - Choosing а Translation Services Vendor: In-House, Freelance, or Outsource?

Aizhamal Kabduali

Sales Manager
1 March 2023

Choosing а Translation Services Vendor: In-House, Freelance, or Outsource?

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Every business wants to expand. First, the expansion happens in the home region, and if the product or service is good, soon enough, the business will be ready to go global. Here’s where you, as a business owner, will need translation services.

From there, you have three roads ahead of you: you can build your in-house team of translators, contact a freelance worker, or send a request to a language service provider. The question is – who to choose? This question is what we will try to answer for you in this article.


(click to show)
  1. Who Needs Translation Services?
  2. Hiring Translators: In-House, Freelance, or Outsource
    1. In-House Translators
    2. Freelance Translators
    3. Outsourced Translation Companies
  3. Benefits of Hiring an Outsourced Team
    1. Works for most
    2. No need to spend on good tools
    3. More than just translation
    4. You are in control
    5. Variety
    6. Cost
    7. Case studies
    8. Capacity and deadlines
    9. ISO-certified
    10. Professional insurance
  4. Main Challenges Of Hiring an Outsourced Translation Company
    1. Rough start
    2. Time zones
  5. Choosing an Outsourced Translation Agency
    1. Don’t rely on size alone
    2. Get recommendations from your partners
    3. Check ratings
  6. Find a Reliable Translation Partner

Who Needs Translation Services?

Foremost, businesses that seek global growth will need translation services. When a company is ready to take on the global market, there are many challenges to overcome, and one of them is ensuring that your product or service will pique new customers’ interest. Moreover, the customers should understand what they see before them. Why is it important? Statistics already have an answer.

The thing is, 65% of customers choose companies that have content in their native language, while 40% of them refuse to interact with unlocalized content at all. Websites, store pages, social media, applications – every piece of information about you and what you offer should be relevant and clear to your future customers. People feel included and cared for when they can choose a language they understand – it demonstrates the company’s commitment. Consequently, customer satisfaction will grow and your company’s appeal will increase.

Translation will not only help you to reach your new audience, but it will also level the playing field. You will feel more confident going against local competitors if your promotional materials are localized or at least translated.

Hiring Translators: In-House, Freelance, or Outsource

In-House Translators

In House Translators

The in-house team is a team of selected professional translators who focus only on work for your company and do not engage in other projects. They are just your regular “on-site” employees, working on materials the company needs translating, attending meetings and training sessions, and using software and tools provided by the company. In-house translators have paid vacation, health insurance, and other benefits of office jobs.


  • Full focus on your projects
  • Complete control over the team
  • You know exactly who works for you: their expertise, experience, etc.
  • Easier communication
  • In-house translators will learn the product/service like the back of their hand
  • Can be trusted to deal with sensitive intellectual property


  • May be cost-ineffective
  • A lot of initial effort and spending to hire the team
  • Translation tools are costly
  • Limited list of target languages

Best fit for

  • Large corporate companies
  • Companies that deal with sensitive data
  • Companies focused on a certain market
  • Companies with complex projects

Freelance Translators

Freelance Translators

Freelancers are independent contractors working for a variety of clients. They either work through agencies or by themselves, translating texts and other materials from one language to another. You can find these individuals on specialized freelance platforms, or you might also stumble on their work proposals in your work mail.


  • Relatively the cheapest option
  • А flexible option – you can pick a translator that specializes in the language pair required at the moment


  • There’s no guarantee that the freelancer will devote their full focus on your project
  • Their set of tools might not be the best
  • The quality of the translation and expertise in subject may be lacking
  • Poor communication
  • Lack of knowledge about your product/service

Best fit for

  • Small projects that one person can easily complete
  • As a helping hand to an in-house team
  • Small or medium, growing companies

Outsourced Translation Companies

Language service providers (LSP) are companies specializing in translation and localization, offering these services to clients all over the world. For employees of these companies, translation is both a profession and a product. They constantly work to adopt new technologies and tools, attracting experts and local experts. When it comes to quality, LSP is unmatched. Let’s talk about these companies in detail.

Benefits of Hiring an Outsourced Team

Outsourced Translation Companies

Works for most

No matter how big or small the company, language service providers will take on your request and complete it brilliantly. “One size fits all” is not a concept that applies to outsourced companies. When you contact an LSP, they will take a close look at your project and create a special translation plan based on your scale, capabilities, and budget. They will make sure to meet all your requirements and satisfy all your needs.

No need to spend on good tools

Language service providers adopt translation tools that significantly increase the consistency and quality of the translation. Such toolsets include translation management tools, translation memory systems, quality assurance, workflow management, computers to check the work of people, and people to double-check after the computers. Translation errors become a rarity. These tools come with a bonus, too. When the hard work is over, the LSP will provide you with translation memory that will help you keep future translations consistent.

More than just translation

Translation service providers offer more than just language. An entire team will be involved in your project. An LSP hires native translators, field experts, working professionals, local experts, and more skilled team members. Your team will possess an intimate knowledge of the field, the tools, and the language, producing consistent, high-quality translations. The experts in these companies are skilled with a variety of CATs, and the LSP usually owns the latest licensed versions.

You are in control

Of course, with outsourcing, you can never have the same level of control as you would have with an in-house team. But an LSP will provide you with just enough control to feel safe about the fate of the project. Firstly, you will have full transparency – you will see who works on your translation and their qualifications. You will be in contact with project management every step of the way, and you will be able to monitor progress and make changes.


Outsourced companies, especially the big ones, have a large selection of different language pairs to work with. If you need a specific pair, they probably already have a bilingual translator ready to work. As a bonus, that translator might have a secondary education in the field you’re working in. Isn’t that swell?


Most of the time, contracting an LSP equals getting a high-quality translation with a price tag slightly above the freelancer’s paycheck. Cost, of course, depends on the scale of your project and the rarity of the chosen language pair, but it will still be way more cost-effective than hiring an in-house team. For example, you won’t have to pay the project management fee since it is already included in the estimated price of translation.

With a company, you will discuss the terms and have a clear layout of the price calculation. You can add only the services you need and opt out of those you find unnecessary. If you plan on a continuous partnership, you will get access to discounts and rebates.

Payment terms with LSP companies are suitable for business, and there are many payment options, both in currency (US, EU, RU) and via payment systems. The latter minimizes transfer fees. Invoices with a TAX ID can be offered if required.

Case studies

By choosing to outsource, you will always know what you will get. There’s tangible proof of the company’s competence available through search and on-demand, manifested in case studies, success stories, and public client feedback.

Capacity and deadlines

Language service providers have a huge capacity and answer to tight deadlines. The working hours of the employees may not be 24/7, but the team will focus on your project alone, giving it more time than a freelancer would.


Good translation companies regularly undergo certifications. ISO certificates support the company’s claims of experience and quality. ISO is a high-level credential; freelance workers usually don’t have access to the certification or don’t bother going through it.

Professional insurance

Language service providers are highly reliable because they hold accountability. If a translator makes a translation error that leads to unfortunate consequences on the client’s side, the LSP has an insurance plan that will cover all legal expenses to mend that mistake.

Main Challenges Of Hiring an Outsourced Translation Company

Rough start

No matter how good the outsourcing translation agency is, they still aren’t people from your company with a profound knowledge of the product/service. At the start of your relationship with an LSP, you will have to hold meetings and explain important details about the project. And if you won’t continue working with the company, you will have to fill in the next one.

Time zones

Let’s say you have contacted a company that resides in a different country 12 hours ahead of you. It can be perfect for your needs, but communication will be rather difficult.

Choosing an Outsourced Translation Agency

Don’t rely on size alone

The large names of the industry have several work processes. Your project might not get most of their attention. On the other hand, a small company doesn’t mean the best quality either.

Get recommendations from your partners

Sometimes word of mouth can become a great source for a good LSP. Ask your business partners if they have contacted any translation services before. Chances are, they did. If they are satisfied, they will gladly recommend a good service or save you money and trouble from contacting a bad one.

Check ratings

Clients are the best scale for a service. Look into the company by checking the reviews on trustworthy websites (Clutch, Good firms, etc.). This research will help you learn the company’s real advantages and disadvantages. The more testimonials there are, the better.

Find a Reliable Translation Partner

Of course, you can handle the entire process yourself, but do you have to? An experienced partner will be a great asset to your company. While someone prepares your materials for a global launch, you can focus on more important things.

The Palex team has provided the highest quality translation services in over 80 languages for 20 years. We hire the best language and subject experts all around the globe. If you are interested in outsourcing translation, contact us and get a free quote. By hiring the Palex team, you will get the best service and more:

  • style guides with directions that suit most (if not specified by a client);
  • best language practices: CATs and other tools included;
  • SVN version control;
  • QA check with our product — Verifika (if not specified by a client);
  • in-house language experts, engineers, and technical staff;
  • support for errors and omissions insurance.

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