Why translators should outsource administrative work

You’re an expert in translation. That’s why you work in the industry. So when it comes to other administrative tasks, should you try to be a renaissance person and do it all — or should you focus on your key skill?

Freelance translators, when faced with marketing, accounting and other kinds of technical work, might be smart to hire another professional to complete the tasks, simply because it gives the translator the ability to focus on language projects.

In the same way that people with language skills still hire language service professionals for translation projects to guarantee quality and efficiency, translators can turn to other professionals for specialized work.

Outsourcing tasks saves translators time and allows them to focus on building their skills in the industry.

Take for example building your own website, which is a great way for a freelancer to advance their profile in the industry. Even if you have the basic skills, do you have the necessary software? And how long will it take you to get it right, as compared to a trained professional?

Hours spent struggling with code/design could be spent earning money and experience tackling a translation assignment. The same logic applies to other kinds of tasks requiring specific expertise such as desktop publishing, balancing finances or designing advertisements.

Of course, many translators are multi-talented individuals, who are capable of completing many kinds of work. So when should you outsource and when should you try to manage multiple responsibilities?

When thinking about technical tasks, consider the opportunity cost of the project. Time you spend working on one thing is time taken away from working on something else. Ask yourself:

Do I have the skills necessary for the project?

If not, how much time will it take me to learn them?

Do I have the tools (software, technology etc) necessary for the project?

How much would it cost to purchase the necessary tools?

How long will it take to learn to use them?

Once you’ve considered these questions, factor in how much money you would earn if you dedicated your time and resources to translation instead. You may find that you  have little to gain from spending time away from your chosen profession or you might find that investments in some areas are worthwhile while others are not.

In any case, if you became a translator, it’s probably because you want to use your language skills. And if you find that you’re losing out on translation time, it might be time to consider outsourcing.

Do you find that you outsource certain kinds of work to focus more on translation projects, or do you strike a balance between these projects and other daily tasks?



Nisar, the dynamic force behind Translation Excellence, stands tall as its founder and CEO. This isn’t just any company—it’s a global heavyweight in boutique language services. Hailing from the vibrant city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Nisar brought his passion and expertise to the U.S. shores in 2001. In the realm of languages, he’s a titan. With 19 years under his belt, he’s worn hats from a linguist and instructor to a cultural bridge-builder and curriculum craftsman.

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