How to Become a Freelance Translator
Making your money online as a freelance translator is for some the ultimate of freedom. Being your own boss translating articles documents emails or basically everything that needs translating, it really does not matter as long as you can translate and earn your money per word or page from your own home.
It is relatively straightforward to become a translator, you just sign up at a few sites offering translating jobs, update your profile and then the big wait is starting. You are not the only one that can translate and want to make some money online. For some it might be even their full professional job, working many hours a week or better earning enough money a month so they can live.
Of course, there are also other very interesting translating jobs like translating documents for the United Nations or any government that need translators. Just look at the European Union, so many countries and all these documents need to be translated into all the different languages. In Asia they are setting up something very similar, for sure they need translators.
You might think to become a technical translator. Where you work will be a technical manual translation for end users to understand or in a different language.
Online Translation Courses
Working for the government means that you will need translator qualifications or any other translator certificate before these organisations even consider you to work for them. And here is the crux, work for them, do you want to work as a freelancer or do you want to have a boss again?
There are several sites out there giving online translation training. Fortunately if you do not have the time the money or the will to follow a training then there are plenty of sites out there that still would like you to become a member. Enough jobs and tasks out there earning you money translating documents.
Requirements to Become a Translator
It all depends on what kind of translator you want to become. It is totally understandable that for certain jobs you do need a certification and then you might be thinking of following a certification training a
Other requirements might be
- Educated to degree level
- Qualification in Translation
- Expert in the field you are translating in
What kind of Documents needs to be Translated?
To write down all the different type of documents that needs translating then I can basically write everything that needs to be in more than 1 language. But even if it is in the same language there are translations needed from technical documentation to documentation non technicals understand.
You will need to have an understanding of the subject. If the document is about the universe than obvious you need to understand what it means. You do not need to be an Einstein but having a medical background is just not good for translating a document about an exploding star (SuperNova).
All technical products that are created have documentation. Just think about all the products you have in your house and the manuals that came with them when you bought them. Unpacking the new product will show you a manual in different languages.
There are a lot of documents needed in business or organisations speaking and writing in different languages. Just look at the EU, many countries and all need the documents in their own language because their own parlement exist and without the treaties are not legal.
The majority of the websites are in English but English is not the only language in the world and when not have a site in the local language you might miss out customers, companies want their site in a local language. You see Google, Microsoft and many more that have sites in a local languages that includes the help pages.
How many novels have you read in your life? Who was the author? Novels are translated from the original language to a foreign language so others can read them too.
Films are being translated from the original language to a local language. In some countries subtitles are used in other countries there is a voice-over in the local language.
Plenty of opportunities if you want to become a translator. Not all these jobs are online, some are just plain jobs working for a boss nevertheless it gives you a small overview. There is, of course, plenty more out there but coming back to working as a freelancer translating from one language to another you will need to know if there are any translating jobs out there.
Online Translating Jobs
Working as a self-employed translator you will work most likely from home, it is not always the case especially where you become a professional translator or the company offering translator jobs insist you to become permanent of work in an office but that sounds like working for a boss again.
Working as a freelancer translating documents means that you are getting paid per work or number of word or page. You are not getting paid per hour like a permanent employee where the boss can watch what you are doing, that is simply not possible for a freelancer. You are your own boss but will need to find work on the internet.
There are online translating jobs businesses that want you
Getting paid up to $100 for a document and up to $35 for an email. I write in $$$ but you can get paid in your local currency in Paypal, Xoom, Check, Wester Union or a direct bank deposit. It is more what is the most convenient for you.
- Set your own working hours
- Work Full Time or Part Time
- Get translating jobs from well established real companies
- Get paid in dollar or your own local currency
- Payments are done in Paypal, Xoom, Check, Wester Union or a direct bank deposit
- Earn up to $100 for translating a text document
- Earn up to $35 for translating an email
- Get paid to translate subtitles in movies
- Get paid translating simple books
- You do not need to be 100% fluent in English
- You are eligible, it does not matter where you live.
- Unknown how much you can earn
- Unknown how long it will take before you get money, this depends on the company you work with
- No guarantees that you get translation jobs
- Pay a one time fee but with a 60-day unconditional money back guarantee the one-time membership fee can be refunded if no jobs come to you.
Before even thinking about a translation job it might be good to just read a little bit more what it all means. It is not just the ability to speak read & write more than 1 language, you also need to understand the culture, the sayings (which are often hard to translate), being a translator is just more than translating a word or a page.
In Translation 101 Pedro Tuti describes the journey of a translator going back to the days he started in 1997 you can say he has a wealth of experience in translating.
- Why to Become a Translator
- Understand what the career path of a translator is.
- Types of Translation Work
- What kind of translation work for freelancers is out there?
- Software Tools of the Trade
- How do professionals use software tools, learn it and use it?
- Set up your Price List
- Once you are a freelancer and companies come to you question will be what is a fair price? Am I not too cheap or too expensive?
- Find Clients & Avoid Scammers
- Too many sites promise the world and give little to nothing, don’t fall into the trap of these sites.
- Organise your Workflow
- How do you make that deadline with multiple jobs running all simultaneously? Learn it here how to do that.
If you want to understand the world of translations than this books is a must have.
Just a Few Sites
If you are rather start working straight away why not check out the following sites:
- Clickworker they have some translation opportunities
- Freelancer.com many opportunities but a translating certificate absolutely will help you to get jobs
- Peopleperhour maybe fewer translation opportunities but you will find them
Conclusion on "How to Become a Freelance Translator"
If you really want to become a freelance translator and want to work online then definitely get a certificate. You can follow online training but obvious also very local. However, you do not need training but can start straight away at Real Translator Jobs or for more information check out Translation 101
I wish you all the success to become a freelance translator.
Is it Really for you to Become a Freelance Translator?
It sounds all great isn't it translating documents as a freelancer but did you ever consider to become a writer instead of a translator? Write your own opinion or write articles for others like you can do at Upworks.com, this might be very interesting and for sure that you make money out of it. Freelance Writing Jobs are everywhere to be found or if you are a writer but do not want to write for someone else why not consider starting your own blog?
I am really interested in what you are going to do, become a translator, or become a writer writing your own blog. It would be really great if you can let me know, I am here to help and pretty sure that you will make the right decision.