Outsource Translation: How to order translations on online freelance platforms?

Nowadays there are more and more translators available on various freelance sites and platforms for online employment. A freelance site is a sort of market place for selling and buying services. It also provides a legal framework and security for working with freelancers.

If you have a need for a translation seldom or irregularly, using an online outsourcing service is an excellent option. On many freelance sites there are a lot of translators waiting ready to start working on your project. Here are step-by-step instructions for ordering translations successfully on a freelance site.

1. Register on a platform for online employment. It’s usually free and simple. No credit card is required yet.

2. Post your job on the site. It’s usually still free and you are not committed to ordering anything. At this point you are just telling that you have a job to do and ask for quotes.

  • A. Write a short description of what you want to be done. For example: “I need to have a text translated from English to Spanish. The job is to translate a brochure. It is 3 pages (or 1400 words) long. I need to have the translated text ready on January 20th .” (Set the deadline to be 1-2 weeks from now)
  • You can also upload the document-to-be-translated so that your translator candidates can see it and can write their quotes accordingly. This will make their quotes more accurate.

3. After you have posted your job you will start receiving bids. By now you should have set a criteria for the provider. The criteria can be based on money (I’ll hire the cheapest one!) or on skills (I want to find the best one!) or on both. Like in so many similar situations, the price indicates the quality only indicatively. Trust your instincts. If you are uncertain the following criteria may help you:

  • Make sure that you are dealing with a reliable provider. Check the feedback he/she has received. The better the feedback is, the better the provider is likely to be.
  • Check also whether the provider has worked with many clients and many times with the same client. Satisfied clients tend to hire the same provider repeatedly.
  • You may also see the total sum that he/she has earned by working on the freelance site. Generally, the bigger the sum, the more committed the provider is in working on the freelance site. And the deeper the commitment, the better he/she will work for you.
  • Use the quote as a secondary criterion when comparing the providers that you have found reliable.

4. If you are satisfied with the bids you have received select the best one for your case. Only at this point are you making a contract and commit yourself to paying anything. It’s probable that the translator asks you to deposit the agreed price on freelance site’s account (this is called “escrow”). It is a common and good way to show that you are indeed committed to making the payment. The translator does not receive the deposited money yet. It’s on the freelance site’s account.

5. Now the translator will start working. Prepare to be available if the provider has something to ask. E-mail is the most common communication channel in these cases when people can be located on the opposite sides of the globe.

6. When you have received the translated text in the agreed schedule you will make the payment. If you have deposited the sum on freelance site’s account you just give them the permission to make the payment to the translator’s account.

7. Finished! You have received the translation and the translator has received the payment.

Here are some freelance sites that you might find useful.

MOTO - Outsource and crowdsource software translation online with Multilizer

Published by

Multilizer / Niko Papula

I am managing director of Multilizer, a Finnish software company specialising in software for enhancing translation quality, speed and cost.

One thought on “Outsource Translation: How to order translations on online freelance platforms?”

Comments are closed.