Johannesburg: Hiring a Translation Agency or a Freelance Translator?

How to choose between a translation agency  and freelance translator for translation services? For companies in search of translation in Johannesburg, the market offers numerous variants, from freelance experts to translation agencies and thanks to the internet, hiring translators has become easier and cheaper than ever before.

But having too many options can also be exhausting and not very convenient especially when you are not fully informed as to how the translation industry works in South Africa. In this article, we will look into the pros and cons of hiring a freelance translator and translation agencies.


Freelance for competitive price, agencies for capacity and quality assurance.


Translation agencies usually have a higher capacity to provide translation services compared to freelance translators. This is because most of them have in-house teams of project managers complete with native translators, quality assurance staff and a network of subject matter experts. Most translation companies often have different arms that specialize in providing translation to a wide range of industries and sectors. Freelance translators on the other hand are more likely to have specialized only in the translation and localization of a particular industry and hence lack capacity to handle various translation projects.


Experience and the quality of translation work successfully delivered are some of the indicators of how a translator would be. Experienced translators are those who have successfully delivered on high profile translation projects, they are more likely to be reliable than those who are inexperienced with no track record. Unfortunately, in South Africa the translation industry is not well regulated hence difficult to perform background checks and verify credentials of freelancers. On the other hand, it is relatively easier to find out the experience and projects handled by translation agencies.


Freelance translators are normally cheaper than translation agencies. Since freelancers don’t have to spend so much money on overhead costs, they can typically offer services at lower rates. Rates can vary greatly between freelancers and they may be up for negotiation. Most freelancers charge by hour. Agencies charge per word.  If you’re an entrepreneur or own a small business, a freelancer could be a good option for you to save on costs but the fees should be the last factor to consider especially if you are seeking high quality translations. It’s vital to invest in quality translations, because if they’re done incorrectly you could offend your target audience and your reputation will suffer

Frenchside is a Pretoria-based translation agency with a track record of high quality translation. For over 10 years, our translation services have helped our clients in South Africa build deeper relationships with their customers around the world. We work in French, Portuguese, Spanish and German languages. If you have any questions you’d like to discuss, please give us a call on 012 347 6060. Alternatively, send us an email to and a member of our friendly team will get back to you.

Jaqui Nel
Article Name
Jaqui Nel
How to choose between a translation agency and a freelance translator when looking for translation services in Johannesburg? Frenchside gives you tips!
Publisher Name
Publisher Logo


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *