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Practically all translation agencies have to use external translation providers to satisfy the language needs of their clients and in order to keep prices reasonable. Their alternative would be to employ dozens of in-house translators, but then their prices would have to be much higher because there would be relatively little work to go round most of the time. The client benefits from the use of translation providers because it means that lower prices and a wider range of language pairs can be offered, while a translation agency benefits by being able to accept more work. Translation providers, meanwhile, are able to make a living by translating for several translation agencies. So using external translation providers makes sense for everyone concerned – clients, agencies and providers.
All translation agencies offering a wide selection of languages use external translation providers. For example, in Finland nearly all translation agencies use translation providers and, in most cases, they are the same ones used by other agencies.
Even though the marketing strategies used by translation agencies may vary, they run their businesses in much the same way. The way in which they operate and their profitability depend on the competence of their staff and professional translation providers. Most translation agencies have at least a couple of in-house translators to ensure that their core business operations can be offered independently of translation providers.