How to Become a Freelance Translator

How to Become a Freelance Translator for Beginners

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Are you interested in the translation profession and want to give it a try? In general, a translator must master at least two languages. Cultivating this field is actually not too difficult, but not always easy.

This job is one way to earn money from the internet.

You must have good language skills. Because it would be unfortunate if, for example, you work for a giant global company or for the government sector and provide the wrong translation, it can lead to misunderstandings for both parties – we don’t want that to happen.

Bright future

The Language Services Industry is a very large market and is not affected by conditions such as a recession. Reporting from daytranslations, in 2017 the global language industry revenue reached USD 43.08 billion and is calculated to increase to USD 47.46 billion in 2021.

This industry is experiencing steady growth, this means that the potential for job vacancies in the translator field is always high.

If you are fluent in other foreign languages ​​and naturally have an interest in foreign cultures and their languages, maybe you can become a translator.

This profession is very profitable and satisfying. Apart from getting paid and paid, doing translation allows you to understand others, it also allows more people to enjoy writings or books from abroad and generally you facilitate communication.

What Does a Translator Do?

Translator and Interpreter are two different professions. Although both jobs are related to language skills, interpreting is about direct speech translation, while the translator is a written translation.

A translator usually translates from a source in another language into their own mother tongue and vice versa. A translator thoroughly understands their mother tongue and is able to write it easily, as a result, the resulting writing is also more natural and easy to understand.

The work of the translator profession is quite varied, ranging from the medical sector, government, business, education, and many others. A translator is usually a freelancer or has their own business. However, some choose to work for agencies or directly with individual employers. This gives translators flexibility whether they want consistent work or have their own preferred schedule.

How To Become a Freelance Translator and Earn Money

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Language ability

The first skill you must have is language – you must be fluent in a foreign language. Make sure you’re really fluent in the foreign language you’ve focused on from the start, as you’ll be doing translations a lot. It is also important for a translator to be able to write basically.

Only a few people can do foreign language translation. To be able to work as a professional translator, often only native speakers are considered by most large companies.

If you have lived in another country or at least have spent many years in a particular country where the foreign language is spoken, this will definitely help your fluency. most translation companies use this as a requirement.

As a professional translator, you are also required to be able to write well and understand the source of the manuscript. Another important point is mastering vocabulary, grammar, and dexterity in explaining the intended meaning accurately and precisely.

Learn Foreign Languages ​​and Get Certified

Choose the foreign language you focus on and then learn and master it with all your soul. Think and decide where you can take a Language course and study thoroughly.

Another thing that is also useful is getting accreditation or certification. Having credentials or qualifications will provide you with an identification document that you have the skills needed to perform professional translation and interpretation tasks.

There are many universities out there that offer postgraduate degrees and professional certifications in translation. You just need to find out which universities or courses provide the best materials, courses, and certifications.

Is qualification a basic obligation for all translator workers? We said no either. You can be a translator without it. In cases such as certain jobs in specific positions, translators are usually sought who do not have to have a myriad of degrees and certifications.

In reality, most successful professional translators have no qualifications in translation – some have degrees in Languages ​​or linguistics, while others have very unrelated degrees and make a profit by making translations for their specialty.

How could they possibly compete with other experts? Experience is the answer.

So the point is it’s not about translator qualification which is the most important, but if you still want to have a certification that will help too. Depends on your preference.

Apart from degrees and certifications, it is crucial to understand that studying is a lifelong endeavor for a professional translator. Improving self-quality is something that must be remembered continuously.

One of the joys of today’s content economy is that education is easily accessible and free of charge. You can find it in conferences, course sessions, workshops, webinars, the internet, and other sources provided by other professional translators.

Specialized and Focused

When you have mastered a certain foreign language, you can just target a specific industry for the realm you are aiming for and like. Mastering a particular foreign language doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll understand the relevant terminology you’ll interpret later, so make sure you add additional focus to industry-specific terminology.

For example, you have thought about studying words in the medical and drug industry, business, government, or education.

Also Read: 3 Easy Ways to Earn Money from Google US $ 100 per Day

Looking for experience

We all have to start somewhere, the sooner you gain experience, the sooner you’ll find the right clients too.

No one is born the greatest translator, so make it a habit to practice your translation skills as often as you can.

When you are more confident, you can start looking for job vacancies. It will be difficult at first, but you can always volunteer on certain projects to build portfolios and testimonials.

All workers in any field always start from internships or work with newcomer positions to be able to climb the career ladder.

If you live near a university, try taking a translator or interpreter class and look for opportunities to do translations at a particular college or department. Experience is very important, it can show your skills to future clients and get recommendations.

Marketing and Business Skills

After gaining experience and credentials, it’s time for you to market yourself to companies that are in need, such as law companies, police stations, hospitals, government agencies, or language agencies that do require translators and interpreters in the surrounding area.

Most translators work for clients on a contract basis, not as full-time workers. One great way to spread your word about your services is to start a blog and join an active online community focused on professional languages.

Also, make sure you have your rates and resume ready. The best indicator of a professional translator is that they know the value and rates they will provide to the market and clients.

Reporting from, Improving your translation skills is very important, but if you know nothing about business and marketing, you will have a hard time finding actual translation jobs.

Unless you get lucky and find an in-house position that you truly love and are unlikely to leave, otherwise you’ll want to learn to market yourself.

Whether focusing on direct clients or working for a language service provider, it is important that you are willing to put yourself out there and at the very least, base an online presence.

This doesn’t mean you have to be on all social networks and post every day, but having an online and reachable profile, whether on LinkedIn, a translation platform, or your own website will greatly increase your chances of finding work and building a reputation.

Keep Learning and Improving Yourself

Once you’ve progressed in this area, there are still other areas you could consider opportunities.

What specific industries can you focus on? Are you in tune with the trends and issues of a particular industry? Are you good at computers and knowledgeable in translating software memory?

Can you interpret successively? If you have had success as a translator, perhaps you might consider diversifying and becoming a certified court or medical translator.

Sharpen Your Computer Skills

Although not all – some translation jobs require some specific computer programs. The program is here to make the translation process faster and more efficient.

Common programs that are usually used by professional translators are as follows:

  • SDL Trados Studio
  • Wordfast
  • source
  • MemoQ

Characteristics of a Good Translator

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Follow the rules

A good translator usually follows a client-given procedure. They know how to provide details and comply with agency and client regulations.

They must also understand and be knowledgeable about the common laws and legal issues that exist and are embedded in various countries so that translated documents can meet the regulations, requirements, and laws of each country.

Commitment in Project

A translator must be flexible, responsive, dedicated, and responsible. To be an effective translator you must ensure any and all translations you work with are treated with respect and of the highest quality.

The timely collection is also a requirement that should not be missed.

Trustworthy and Handles Secrets Well

It depends on each company, but usually, the translation work should be kept confidential. This is the process of becoming a translator. Document security is a priority. You must comply with the privacy guidelines that have been created by the company and the client.

Standard operating procedures are one of the things that can build client trust in you and your company, which will eventually turn into repeat orders.

Also Read: How to Earn Money Working From Home as a Beginner


After our discussion on How to Become a Freelance Translator for Beginners. Hopefully useful and as usual, best wishes!

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